APM Terminals moved into the fast expanding Black Sea container market with the acquisition of a majority stake in Georgia's Poti Sea Port.
The company bought an 80 percent stake in Georgia's biggest port from Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority of the United Arab Emirates.
APM, a unit of Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk, said it expects to invest $100 million over the next five years upgrading and expanding port facilities.
APM did not say how much it paid for its stake in the port, which has 15 cargo berths handling wet and dry bulk, roll-on, roll-off and container traffic and serves as the European gateway for Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
"With fast economic growth, the region's importers and exporters will require high quality port infrastructure, and so naturally it is a market in which we have great interest," said APM terminals' Senior Vice President and Head of New Terminals, Peder Sondergaard.
"With our track record of world class port operations and developments in all markets, we believe we can add a lot of value to Poti Sea Port to generate more business," Sondergaard said.
APM Terminals will operate Poti Sea Port in a joint venture with RAKIA.
RAKIA bought Poti port and 300 hectares of land in 2008 to develop a free industrial zone. It initially acquired a 51 percent stake for $90 million and bought the remaining 49 percent in 2009.
RAKIA said last year it was planning an initial public offering for the Poti project in 2011.
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