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            february 23, 2019

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CMPort pays US$474m for 50pc share in Australia's Port of Newcastle


China's Hong Kong-based port operator China Merchants Port Holdings Co (CMPort) has entered into an agreement to acquire a 50 per cent interest in Australia's Port of Newcastle from China Merchants Union Ltd (CMU) and Gold Newcastle Property Holding Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of CMU.
Under the deal, CMPort or its wholly owned subsidiaries will pay AUD607.5 million (US$473.8 million), including shareholder loans of AUD$162.5 million. The remaining 50 per cent interest in Port of Newcastle is held by TIF Investment Trust, an independent third party.
CMPort said that the acquisition of Port of Newcastle represents a first step for it to invest in the Oceania region, American Shipper reported.
"Given the unique position of the Port of Newcastle with precincts containing land resources, the acquisition will bring opportunities for the company to further achieve its 'Port and Park' development," the company said in a statement, "which aims to operate its core port businesses together with the park development and infrastructure support, thereby achieving a port-centered ecosystem with port operations as its core."
"CMPort believes that the acquisition, which represents a fair and reasonable price, will generate positive long-term financial return," the company added.
The Port of Newcastle is the largest port on Australia's East Coast and is one of the world's leading coal export ports. Newcastle consists of four port zones, including 21 berths, with nine being exclusive coal berths, and a total design capacity of 211 million tonnes.

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