Grimaldi takes majority stake in Heraklion

2023-12-28T18:53:42+00:00 December 28th, 2023|Ports|

A signing of a share purchase agreement on 18th December marked the sale and transfer of a majority stake in the capital of the Heraklion Port Authority (HPA) to Holding of Heraklion Port.

This is a consortium formed by the Grimaldi Group companies, Grimaldi Euromed and Minoan Lines.

For a price of €80 mill, the Italian group acquired 67% of the capital of the company that manages the largest and busiest port in Crete.

The sale 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 privatisation of the country’s public assets.

This investment also follows Grimaldi Group’s recent acquisition of a majority stake in Igoumenitsa Port Authority.

During the signing ceremony, the Greek Minister of Finance, Kostis Hatzidakis, said: “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 centre. 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.

“Congratulations to HRADF and the management of the port of Heraklion for the work they have done so far, and which led to this agreement. Congratulations also to the Grimaldi Group, from which we expect a lot for the management of both the port of Heraklion and the port of Igoumenitsa,” he said.

Greek Minister of Shipping and Insular Policy, Christos Stylianides, added: “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, signalling 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,” he said.

HRADF’s CEO, Dimitris Politis, stressed: “Today is a milestone for Heraklion Port Authority. The port of Heraklion – he added – one of the most important in the country, begins an exciting journey into a new era of development. With the acquisition of 67% of the shares by the Grimaldi Group, the Authority now has a strong new shareholder, with rich experience in port infrastructure management.

“HRADF retains 33% of the share capital and we are ready as shareholders and as port planning authority to co-operate with Grimaldi Group for the optimal development of the port of Heraklion for the benefit of Crete and the national economy as a whole.

“In the tender, we considered the importance of the Venetian Harbor for the city of Heraklion, which is a cultural and historical reference point. For this reason, we ensured, in co-operation with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy, it remains under state management with the establishment of a new body for its protection and promotion,” he commented.

Emanuele Grimaldi added: “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,” he concluded.

The signing took place after the approval of the Greek Court of Auditors, while the revised concession agreement between the Greek State and HPA will soon be ratified by the Hellenic Parliament.