EQT has agreed to buy 90 percent of Global Gateway South for $875 million. CMA CGM, the seller, will retain a 10 percent stake in Global Gateway, a terminal in the North American Port of Los Angeles. EQT is using its third infrastructure fund, which collected 4 billion euros earlier this year, to invest in Global Gateway. Jefferies LLC provided financial advice while Allen & Overy LLP acted as legal adviser to EQT Infrastructure.
The EQT Infrastructure III fund (“EQT Infrastructure” or “the fund”) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 90% of Global Gateway South (“GGS” or “the company”), a leading terminal in the North American Port of Los Angeles, with an enterprise value of USD 875 million. EQT Infrastructure has partnered with port operating firm P5 Infrastructure (“P5”) to develop a value creation plan aimed at transforming GGS into a world class operation. Current owner, CMA CGM, will retain a 10% ownership stake in GGS and has entered into a long-term contract as the largest customer of the terminal.
The Port of Los Angeles, together with the Port of Long Beach, form the largest and most important gateway in North America for growing transpacific trade flows. GGS is the third largest terminal in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in terms of capacity, and operates under a long-term concession that runs through 2043. The terminal provides intermodal container handling services to shipping lines including stevedoring, intermodal/truck services, storage and maintenance, and is on track to handle over one million containers in 2017. GGS benefits from a superior waterfront location and berth depth that enables the terminal to accommodate the latest and future generations of large container ships. These characteristics, together with an ideal layout and superior rail connectivity, position GGS to become one of the most relevant and efficient terminals in North America.
EQT Infrastructure and P5 have developed a plan to transform GGS from an asset operated as a cost center, into a leading North American terminal in terms of capacity and efficiency. The strategy includes significant capital investments in cranes, other handling equipment and technology to increase capacity and efficiency. The growth of the company will be supported by an industrial Board of Directors with significant ports and container shipping expertise.
Lennart Blecher, Head of Real Assets and Deputy Managing Partner at EQT, Investment Advisor to the fund, said: “The acquisition of GGS fits perfectly with EQT Infrastructure’s focused sector approach of targeting high-quality, well-located logistics assets with transformation potential. The combination of P5’s and EQT’s vast industrial expertise will be a great foundation for sustainable value-creation for the terminal. We are also very happy with CMA CGM’s continued support and engagement”.
Farid Salem, Executive Officer of CMA CGM, said: “We are very pleased to partner with EQT Infrastructure. Together we will develop GGS into a world class terminal company. The terminal will remain an important part of our industry leading logistics network, and will have an opportunity to grow alongside CMA CGM. Throughout the sales process, EQT Infrastructure and P5 have focused on growth in addition to a responsible, hands-on ownership approach, which we consider highly beneficial to our future partnership”.
Sean Pierce, CEO of P5 Infrastructure stated, “We look forward to investing alongside EQT Infrastructure and implementing our value creation strategy in order to deliver value for our shareholders, partners and employees”.
The transaction is subject to customary conditions. It is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Jefferies LLC acted as sole financial advisor and Allen & Overy LLP acted as legal advisor to EQT Infrastructure.