Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investments has signed a definitive agreement to take over North America’s largest marine terminal operator, Ports America.

Through the purchase of interest from funds handled by Oaktree Capital Management, CPP Investments will now become the sole owner of Ports America.

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The deal, anticipated to close in Q4 2021, is pending regulatory approval. The financial terms of the transaction were not shared.

Since 2014, CPP Investments has held a minority stake in Ports America and will continue to back the business with long-term capital.

CPP Investments managing director and infrastructure head Scott Lawrence said: “Ports America represents the opportunity to continue to invest in a high-quality operator that plays an important role in global trade, making the company a good fit for our long-term infrastructure investment strategy.

“Terminal operators play a crucial role as cargo demand and transportation requirements continue to grow in response to the rapid and dynamic changes in how individuals and businesses are buying and selling products.”

Oaktree managing director and infrastructure investing strategy co-portfolio manager Emmett McCann said: “Ports America’s growth, track record of innovation and strong financial profile have positioned the company for success in today’s cargo management and terminal operations environment, and we fully expect the business will only benefit from this new ownership structure.”

Founded in 1921, Ports America is said to have ‘driven a century’s worth of innovation in stevedoring, cargo handling, and best-in-class terminal operations’.

It has 70 locations in 33 ports around the three US coasts.

Ports America manages 13.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) annually, including ten million tonnes of general cargo, 2.5 million vehicles and 1.7 million cruise ship passengers.