The Virginia Port Authority’s board of commissioners turned down two bids to buy the leases of the ports’ container terminals and voted instead to restructure its operating company and overhaul the port’s long-term strategy.
The VPA commissioners’ decision at their board meeting Tuesday follows an extensive 18-month review of port operations, including the evaluation of private proposals by APM Terminals, which estimated its bid at between $3 billion and $4 billion over the 20-year term of the lease, and Virginia Port Partners, a joint venture between J. P. Morgan IIF Acquisitions and Maher Terminals, which would operate the port, along with an affiliate partner, Noatum, a company that operates other ports throughout the world.
The commissioners decided instead to convert Virginia International Terminals, which operates the terminals on behalf of the state-owned VPA, from a non-stock corporation to a single member Virginia limited liability corporation under more direct control by the VPA. The new structure will eliminate duplications, increase efficiencies and reduce costs.
The board will also begin the process of recruiting the permanent executive director and chief commercial officer to lead the streamlined organization, and expects to have the permanent leadership in place as early as fall 2013.