APM Terminals invests in South America's second busiest container port

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APM Terminals invests in South America's second busiest container port

APM Terminals and Colombian-based port and terminal operating company, Compañia de Puertos Asociados S.A. (Compas S.A.) have signed a joint venture agreement to jointly manage and operate Compas S.A.'s existing multipurpose Cartagena Terminal.

APM Terminals and Compas S.A. will jointly invest over USD $200 million in upgrading and expanding the Cartagena Terminal, including state-of-the-art terminal equipment. The upgrade will triple annual throughput capacity for the terminal to handle the larger vessels transiting the widened Panama Canal.

While Compas S.A. will continue to be the concession holder, APM Terminals will hold a 51% majority share in the joint venture that will run the facility. The transaction will be subject to compliance with the necessary formalities with the relevant authorities.

APM Terminals CEO Kim Fejfer said:

"Colombia represents one of the most promising investment opportunities in the region and  we  are  pleased  to  participate in  the  country's  ongoing  economic  growth  and development. Cartagena has enormous significance in South America ports and this JV underlines APM Terminals growth and investment plans."

The Compas S.A. Cartagena Terminal has an annual throughput capacity of 250,000 TEUs and 1.5 million tons of general cargo. It becomes the sixth operational Latin American facility within the APM Terminals Global Terminal Network, which includes interests in operating port facilities in Callao, Peru; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Santos, Pecém, and Itajaí, Brazil. APM Terminals' Latin American interests handled an overall combined container throughput of 2.1 million TEUs in 2014.

Alberto Jimenez Rojas, President of Compas S.A, said:

"APM Terminals has an impressive heritage in the port business and they continue to transform operations. We are excited to partner up with them and expand our business here in Colombia."

Compas S.A., headquartered in Bogotá, was formed as a joint venture between Grupo Argos (a Colombian conglomerate with investments in the infrastructure, cement and energy industries) and Southern Port Holding Inc. (formed by the Colombian Echavarría Obregón family and Spanish-based Ership S.A.). While Compas S.A. is a major terminal operator in Colombia, it also has terminal interests in Houston, Texas (USA) and Panama.

Joe Nicklaus Nielsen, APM Terminals Vice President and Global Head of Container Business Development, said:

"Compas S.A. has the service reputation and expertise in Cartagena and Colombia that ideally fits our Latin America partner strategy and port development ambitions. We look forward to working with them on developing the Cartagena terminal further."

Cartagena, located at the northern tip of South America on Colombia's Caribbean coast, was the second-busiest container port in South America in 2014, and the fifth-busiest in the Latin American/Caribbean Region, with a throughput of 2.23 million TEUs, trailing only Balboa and Colón, Panama; Santos, Brazil and Manzanillo, Mexico in container volume. The Port of Cartagena's annual container volume growth rate was 13% from 2013 to 2014. Total Colombian port container throughput was 3.35 million TEUs in 2014, ranking third, after Brazil and Chile.
The Colombian economy, the third-largest in South America, after Brazil and Argentina, at USD $642 billion, has averaged better than a 4% annual growth rate since 2010, and has been projected by the IMF to expand by 3.4% in 2015 and 3.7% in 2016.
APM Terminals has two new deep-water terminals under construction in Latin America at Moin, Costa Rica, and Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico.

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