Mitsui, Sumitomo to hold India port plans

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Mitsui, Sumitomo to hold India port plans

Mumbai's press reports that Japanese conglomerates, Mitsui & Co and Sumitomo Corporation have put their plans to invest in Indian port sector on hold recently due to high asset valuations and corporate changes back home.

The firms were interested in picking up a minority stake or in taking up operational control of a terminal to support their trading volumes.

A spokeperson from Sumitomo said in an email:

"We look for investment opportunities in Indian port operation because of promising growth in India as well as that of export and import trade business in the future. However, we slowed down the activities recently because valuations of private Indian ports are generally high compared to other countries."

L&T's Kattupalli, Gammon Infrastructure's berth at Vizag, MARG Group's Karaikal port are some of the assets that Sumitomo and Mitsui were in talks with.

M&A activity in the Indian port sector has been low during the last two years. In September 2013, Bolloré Africa Logistics made its first investment in an Indian terminal by acquiring a 49% stake in ABG Container Handling, which is transforming a berth at V.O. Chidambaranar Port into a container terminal through a 30-year concession.

Mitsui was recently selected by Indonesia state-owned port operator PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II (Pelindo II) as its partner to jointly operate the first container terminal at the new Kalibaru Port in North Jakarta.

Portek, a subsidiary of Mitsui, runs ports in Indonesia, Rwanda, Latvia and in many more geographies.

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