Essar Ports raises $31M from Antwerp Port Authority

Belgium’s Port of Antwerp International (PAI), an investing and consulting arm of Antwerp Port Authority, has invested Rs 175 crore ($31 million) in public-listed Essar Ports, one of India’s largest port operators involved in port and terminal services for liquid, dry bulk, break bulk and general cargo.

The investment is done through the issue of GDRs at Rs 100 per share, translating into around 4 per cent stake of the diluted equity base.

Essar Ports’ scrip declined marginally to close at Rs 89.3 a share on the BSE in a weak Mumbai market.

The partnership is aimed at technical assistance for port planning and process improvement besides quality and productivity enhancement. Jan Adam, the CFO of Port of Antwerp, has joined the board of Essar Ports Ltd as a non-executive director.

“Essar Ports is a highly regarded, strong and reliable partner with a lot of know-how. We rely on the company for the development of port activities in India, one of the strategic regions of our daughter company PAI,” said Marc Van Peel, president of Antwerp Port Authority.

“This partnership will promote growth of port traffic between Antwerp and Essar ports, and help us develop world class port facilities with focus on quality, productivity and environment,” said Rajiv Agarwal, MD of Essar Ports.

PAI was founded in June 2010 as an investing and consultancy arm of Belgium’s Antwerp Port Authority, the body behind the second largest port in Europe. Recently, PAI has signed an agreement with Rent A Port and the Oman government to develop a new port in Duqm.

Essar Ports Ltd (formerly Essar Shipping Ports & Logistics Ltd) operates as a sea logistics company in India. It has two operational ports at Hazira and Vadinar in Gujarat. Currently, the ports have the capacity of 88 MMPTA and may expand to 158 MMPTA in future.

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