Southern ports merger drifts slowly closer
The Ports of Otago and Lyttelton will not talk about the details of the first major report in a possible merger, but it must have been good.In a joint statement today, the Ports confirmed that after considering the report prepared as part of the first sta
Fri, 19 Feb 2010
The Ports of Otago and Lyttelton will not talk about the details of the first major report in a possible merger, but it must have been good.
In a joint statement today, the Ports confirmed that after considering the report prepared as part of the first stage of the proposal, they were moving onto the next stage with the “utmost urgency”.
The next stage involves “detailed negotiations” related to the content of the report prepared by independent advisor Antipodes Capital, which will not be made public due to its commercial sensitivity.
But Lyttelton chairman Rodger Fisher and John Gilks, his Otago counterpart, today announced they saw enough potential benefits of an operational merger to proceed to the next stage.
The inevitable consolidation of the port industry has been a long time coming, with the two biggest ports in the South Island first agreeing to explore the possibility of a merger in late 2008.
It still has a long way to go, with issues such as the ability of each port to retain ownership of its land and wharves in the future still to be finalised.
The ports are now seeking to legally separate the infrastructure assets from the operations and commercial activities that occur at each port to overcome this issue.
The chairmen said they appreciated that negotiations would take “some time” as it was a complex concept but added that it was important that a robust process is followed.
Fri, 19 Feb 2010
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