This week’s signing of the share purchase agreement officially marked the sale and transfer of a majority stake in the capital of the Heraklion Port Authority (HPA S.A.) to Holding of Heraklion Port S.A., the consortium formed by the Grimaldi Group companies Grimaldi Euromed SpA and Minoan Lines S.A.
For a total price of 80 million euros, the Italian group acquired 67% of the capital of the company that manages the largest and busiest seaport in Crete. The stake had been put out to tender by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF, a member company of GROWTHFUND – The National Fund of Greece), which organises the management and privatization of public assets in Greece.
This new, strategic investment follows Grimaldi Group’s recent acquisition of a majority stake in Igoumenitsa Port Authority S.A., the company that manages the namesake Greek port.
The signing ceremony was held in Athens and attended, among others, by Greek Minister of Finance Kostis Hatzidakis, Minister of Shipping and Insular Policy Christos Stylianides, Minister of Rural Development and Food Lefteris Avgenakis, HRADF CEO Dimitris Politis, GROWTHFUND – The National Fund of Greece CEO Grigoris D. Dimitriadis, HPA S.A. CEO Minas Papadakis and President of the Board of Directors Ioannis Vardavas, Grimaldi Euromed S.p.A. President and Managing Director Emanuele Grimaldi. Also Grimaldi Group Corporate Short Sea Commercial Director Guido Grimaldi, Minoan Lines CEO Loukas Sigalas, Holding of Heraklion Port S.A. President of the Board and Managing Director Paul Kyprianou.
During the ceremony, the Minister of Finance, Kostis Hatzidakis, stated: “Having been born and raised in Crete myself, I am happy about today’s development. I believe that the port of Heraklion, one of the largest ports in the country, is moving to another level. Managed by a large international group, it has the opportunity to increase its activities and strengthen the role of Greece, but also of Crete in particular as a transit center.
“It is also important that this agreement with the Grimaldi Group, which is familiar with the port of Heraklion, is combined with a series of agreements with the local community and especially with the Municipality of Heraklion. But it is also combined with the rationalisation of the management of the ports of Crete.”
The Minister of Shipping and Insular Policy, Christos Stylianides, said: “Today is a very important day for Heraklion. By signing the agreement for the purchase of a 67% majority stake in the share capital of Heraklion Port Authority by the Grimaldi Group, the Authority acquires a strong ally, with rich experience in managing port infrastructure. At the same time, HRADF retains 33% of the share capital, signaling more development for the national and local economy.
“A new development era of investment and upgrading starts today for the port of Heraklion. Α new course which enhances our national position in shipping, with multiple benefits for the economy and the port. This partnership underlines our commitment to strategically manage our ports, to enhance growth and competitiveness and, above all, for the benefit of the Greek citizens.”
Emanuele Grimaldi said: “The Grimaldi Group has an ambitious investment programme which aims at making the most of Heraklion’s strategic position in the Eastern Mediterranean for the development of new trade flows for passengers and freight, ranging from cruising to the transport of new vehicles. We are fully aware of the potential of this port, as we have long been its main customer through our sister company Minoan Lines, which has its headquarters in Heraklion.
“We intend to facilitate the sustainable growth of the Port, both from an economic and an environmental point of view. Particularly, through investments in renewable sources of energy, we plan to make Heraklion a true green port and a landmark for the entire Mediterranean port industry. All this will result in higher quality services for the Port, more trade flows, more tourism, more businesses and jobs, more wealth for the city of Heraklion, the island of Crete and Greece as a whole.”
The signing of the share purchase agreement took place after the approval of the Greek Court of Auditors, while the revised concession agreement between the Greek State and HPA S.A. will soon be ratified by the Hellenic Parliament.