The Netherlands-based container terminal operating company APM Terminals has closed the $1bn acquisition of Spain-based Grup Maritim’s port and rail interests.

It now expects to get regulatory approvals for Grup Maritim’s three of 11 terminals, which comprise less than 5% of the acquisition value.

Following the purchase, APM Terminals will own eight ports with a collective two million TEU equity-weighted volumes, expanding its network to 72 operating ports, throughout 69 countries.

With the deal, APM Terminals has added 7% throughput to its existing portfolio in major locations such as Spanish container terminal concessions in Barcelona, Valencia and Castellon, on the Mediterranean coast, along with the concessions in Gijon, on the Bay of Biscay.

Apart from Spain, Grup Maritim’s terminal operations include in Yucatan, Mexico; an under construction terminal in Quetzal, Guatemala; in Buenaventura, Colombia, on the Pacific Coast; and Paranagua, Brazil.

APM Terminals expects to invest around $400m over the next five years to upgrade and expand Grup Maritim’s operations.

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APM Terminals CEO Kim Fejfer said: "The acquisition expands our position in Spain and accelerates our growth in Latin America.

"While growth in Latin America has slowed overall, Colombia, Mexico and Guatemala are outperforming the rest of the continent and we believe offer exciting short and medium term opportunities."

"While growth in Latin America has slowed overall, Colombia, Mexico and Guatemala are outperforming the rest of the continent and we believe offer exciting short and medium term opportunities"

The deal was finalised last year when Perez y Cia agreed to sell its 61% majority stake in Grup Maritim, following which the minority shareholders also agreed to sell their remaining shares to APM Terminals.

APM Terminals said that the company was waiting to receive approval for acquiring Grup Maritim’s terminal in Turkey and those in Canary Islands, Spain.

APM Terminals port investments vice president Joe Nicklaus Nielsen said: "We are continuing to pursue the acquisition of TCB’s Turkish and Canary Island terminals and are confident we will be able to provide satisfactory responses to the regulators’ questions in Turkey in due course.

"However, as these assets make up less than 5% of the value of the acquisition, we have decided to move ahead with the acquisition to capitalise on the significant momentum we have been building towards the closure of the deal."

Image: An APM Terminals port Photo: courtesy of APM Terminals