The Belgian Port of Ghent and the Dutch port of Zeeland plan 1.2-billion-dollar merger. The authorities of the both ports will join shareholders and work management. The joint merged entity will have a value in shares of around 1.2 billion USD. The starting point for the merger agreement is to achieve a merger on a 50-50% basis, and thus create a single cross-border port area and a single new unified port authority. A 76% majority of all shareholders would be required for such important decisions.
The both ports plan extending cooperations, but building a rail link, connecting the terminals.
“Since all the parties below have high ambitions to increase the share of rail in their modal split to make this sustainable mode of transport more attractive and contribute to one single EU rail freight market, an optimal cross border rail infrastructure is essential in a sustainable solution to fully exploit the economic potential of this region”, says a joint statement of the both port authorities.
In case of completion of the transaction, the port authorities to be subsidiaries of a European company, exchanging their own shares for those of the European company. In this way, the port authorities will retain their own assets (land, buildings and infrastructure) as subsidiaries of this European company. The subsidiaries will also remain responsible for public tasks such as the maintenance of roads in the port area, directing nautical traffic and safety in the port.
Based on the principle of equality, after the merger the shares will be divided among different public districts as follows: Zeeland province 25%, Borsele 8.33%, Terneuzen 8.33%, Vlissingen 8.33%, Ghent 48.52%, Evergem 0.03%, Zelzate 0.005%, East Flanders province 1.444%.
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