Thessaloniki deal German-led Consortium Highest Bidder for Greek Port

Greece is set to sell a two-thirds stake in the country's second-largest port of Thessaloniki to a German-led consortium. The sale is a key part of the country's current international bailout.
The northern Greek port of Thessaloniki.

A German-led consortium was declared the preferred bidder for the acquisition of a majority stake in Greece's Thessaloniki port, the country's state privatization fund said on Monday evening.

The consortium of private equity firm Deutsche Invest Equity Partners with France's Terminal Link and Greece's Belterra Investments was the highest bidder for a majority stake in Greece's second-largest port, with an offer of €232 million ($251 million).

The consortium will also take over the operation of the port for the next 34 years under a separate lease agreement. This is expected to bring in more than €170 million in additional revenue.

The total value of the deal to the Greek state is much higher than the agreed price and will amount to €1.1 billion, according to the state privatization fund. The sale still needs to be approved by state auditors and other authorities.

The privatization of state-owned assets is a key part of Greece's international bailout. The country's international creditors – the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – pushed Greece for years to privatize state-owned enterprises as a way to raise revenue and pay its debt obligations.

Less than a year ago, China's Cosco Shipping bought a 51-percent stake in the country's largest port of Piraeus for €280.5 million.