ICTSI raises stake in North Harbor

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The skyline of Manila as seen from the top of a ship docked at the Manila North Harbor. —

INTERNATIONAL Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) on Thursday said it is raising its stake in Manila North Harbor Port, Inc. (MNHPI) to 50%.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Thursday, the Razon-led port operator said it signed a share purchase agreement with Harbour Centre Port Terminal, Inc. (HCPTI) to acquire 4,550,000 MNHPI shares at P200 each or a total of P910 million. This represents 15.17% of MNHPI.

The deal will increase ICTSI’s stake in the operator of Manila North Harbor to 50% from the current 34.83%.

“The transaction will allow ICTSI to contribute its experience, expertise and state-of the-art technology and infrastructure to enhance the operational efficiency of the domestic terminal in the Port of Manila and improve the traffic condition in Metro Manila,” ICTSI said.

ICTSI, which operates the Manila International Container Terminal, said the completion of the deal will depend on securing approval from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), among others.

“This transaction will further improve the returns of ICTSI’s shareholders through this value-accretive acquisition,” the company said.

In September 2017, ICTSI bought Petron Corp.’s 34.83% stake in MNHPI for P1.75 billion.

MNHPI signed the 25-year contract to operate, manage and maintain the North Harbor in November 2009.

ICTSI said its attributable net income dropped 6% to $97.66 million in the first six months of 2018 from $103.6 million a year ago, “due primarily to the start-up costs of the new terminals in Papua New Guinea and Australia.” Last year’s comparable figure had included a one-time gain of $7.5 million from the termination of its sub-concession agreement in Nigeria. — D.A.Valdez