Chinese firm to buy stake in Belgian port operator
China Shipping Terminal Development Co, a unit of China Shipping Container Lines Co, will buy a 24 percent stake in a Belgian container port terminal, in another major global purchase by a Chinese shipping firm.
Due to the sluggish domestic shipping industry, more Chinese port operators are expanding overseas and acquiring attractively priced assets owned by foreign companies seeking to reduce debt.
China Shipping Terminal Development Co agreed to buy the stake in APM Terminals Zeebrugge NV from APM Terminals last week, and a detailed plan was released on Wednesday.
APM Terminals, a unit of A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, held a 75 percent stake of APM Terminals Zeebrugge. Shanghai International Port (Group) Co bought a 25 percent stake of APM Terminals Zeebrugge in 2010.
The deal will enable China Shipping Container Lines Co to have a trading port in Northern Europe, an insider said.
China Shipping Container Lines Co has also invested in Seattle and Los Angeles and Damietta in Egypt.
According to the website of Zeebrugge port, the port is one of the busiest ports in Northern Europe, and handled 1.9 million TEUs in 2012.