The Greek government has postponed the sale of a majority stake of Piraeus Port Authority S.A. (OLP).
According to sources, Greek officials have deferred the signing of the concession agreement for approximately 20 days to give the ministry time to prepare the draft agreement.
In May this year we reported that three bidders will bid for the Piraeus Port: APM Terminals B.V., COSCO (Hong Kong) Group Limited, and International Container Terminal Services, Inc, (ICTSI).
They now have a deadline of 30 October to submit binding bids for a 51% stake in the port authority.
Piraeus Port is one of the busiest passenger ports in Europe, according to OLP data, and one of the top cargo ports in the Mediterranean. Cargo traffic rose 15% to 3.1 million twenty-foot equivalent units in 2013. The preferred bidder will acquire 51% in OLP with an option to acquire 67% in five years. The acquisition option is subject to a €300 million (US$341.1 million) investment in the port during that period.
These privatization is part of the Greece's privatisation programme, which aims to raise around €6.4 billion (US$7.27 billion) by 2017.
China is one of the key players bidding for Greece's port assets. According to Baker & McKenzie and the Rhodium Group, China has invested US$18 billion in the country during 2014, which represents a substantial increase from the US$2 billion in 2010.