Pinsent Masons advises on landmark commercialisation of Limassol Port

27 Apr 2016 | 04:18 pm | 1 min. read

- First completed transaction in Cyprus European bailout programme International law firm Pinsent Masons has advised the Government of Cyprus on the Limassol Port commercialisation – the first ever deal to be completed as part of the country’s European bailout obligations.

The concession deal, which completed today, will generate revenue to contribute to Cyprus’ repayment of the landmark €10 billion financial assistance package secured with international lenders in 2013.

Infrastructure partner Catherine Workman and senior associate Sonal Shah led a team advising the Cypriot Government on the deal which will see a consortium of operators led by Eurogate International take over operation of the container terminal while DP World-led consortia have secured control of the port's marine services and multi-purpose terminal.

Commenting on the deal, Catherine Workman, said: "This transaction is a major milestone for Cyprus in the context of its Troika obligations. The commercialisation of the port will also be transformational for Cyprus in modernising its main port to become a critical transport and logistics hub in the Mediterranean."

As part of the deal the Government will receive an upfront fee from the operators and a share of the revenue generated by the ports each year during the term of the concession.

Sonal Shah said: "The team at Pinsent Masons worked closely with Government officials and the operator consortium partners throughout the procurement to ensure the three concessions were concluded within a period of just over two months from announcement of the preferred tenderers. We look forward to working with the Government again on further infrastructure projects in Cyprus."

The firm has advised the Cypriot Government on a number of infrastructure projects in recent years. In 2006 Workman advised on the Larnaca and Paphos Airport PPP project which saw the construction and operation of two new international airport terminals and was their first PPP Project to achieve financial close.

"Port concession deals are becoming far more common place as governments across the world seek to foster greater overseas investment to transform essential infrastructure," explains Workman. "We're seeing an increase in the number of deals in this sector and expect this trend to continue."

Pinsent Masons advised the preferred bidder in relation to the Marchwood Port concession which closed in November 2015. The firm is currently advising the preferred bidder on the Dubrovnik Port PPP Project.

The Cypriot Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, Marios Demetriades, said: "The successful commercialisation of the Limassol Port is indicative of the renewed dynamism of the Cyprus economy and the recovery of the country’s attractiveness to foreign investments.

"I would like to highlight the significant contribution of our advisors including Pinsent Masons in concluding this project. The agreements are not only a source of revenue but also will upgrade Cyprus’ role in the South-Eastern Mediterranean promoting it as an important regional centre of maritime commerce in the area."

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