The Virginia Port Authority received two new bids for the terminals operated by its subsidiary, Virginia International Terminals, which were already the subject of an unsolicited takeover bid by CenterPoint Properties Trust of Illinois.
The two new bidders are the Carlyle Group, based in Washington, D.C., and the partnership of Carrix and Goldman Sachs. Carrix is the parent company of SSA Marine of Seattle.
The port authority said the deadline for bidders to submit proposals outlining their plans to operate the three marine terminals and the Virginia Inland Port, all of which are owned by the Virginia Port Authority, expired today at 10 a.m.
The port authority said it will conduct a quality control review of the two new unsolicited bids as the next step in the bidding process.
CenterPoint offered $2.2 billion on March 12 to operate the existing facilities in partnership with VPA and another $1.3 billion investment in Craney Island when it is ready.
The proposal is not for a sale, but rather for what CenterPoint called a “strategic partnership” or concession that would employ Virginia International Terminals, the current operating affiliate of the Virginia Ports.
The authority owns Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal and the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal. Virginia International Terminals operates the facilities.
The unsolicited CenterPoint bid came two years after Jerry Bridges, the then-incoming executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, suggested that a public-private partnership could be a route that the port authority might consider as a means of raising the capital it needs to expand its terminals.
“I like it because it puts more skin in the game," Bridges told The Journal of Commerce at the time. "If done properly, it would provide a shot in the arm for some badly needed infrastructure improvement.”
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