Yilport Buys Turkey's Largest Liquids Terminal

The Solventas terminal (courtesy Yilport)

By The Maritime Executive 06-16-2016 09:34:36

Turkish ports holding company Yilport has purchased 100 percent of Turkey's largest liquids terminal, Solventas Technical Storage in Dilovasi, Gulf of Izmir. Solventas operates more than 200 shoreside storage tanks and two quays of more than 700 feet each. 

Yilport will merge its Gebze product terminal with Solventas' facility to form a new entity, Yilport Dilovasi Liquid Terminal, with a combined 300 tanks and 450,000 cubic meters of storage capacity. 

The acquisition brings Yilport's ports holdings to 23 locations in seven countries. The family-owned firm has been making multiple purchases in recent years; it aims to become one of the top ten port operators in the world by 2025.

Last month, Yilport signed for a 40-year concession for the entire cargo operations of the Baltic port of Gävle, Sweden, including the container, bulk and general cargo, rail, and CFS warehouses of the port.

The firm also acquired Portuguese port operator Tertir last year, tripling the size of its European operations. And it has recently been in talks with American investment fund Highstar Capital over the possibility of buying a majority stake in Ports America, the largest U.S. terminal operator and stevedoring firm, Lloyd's List reported in May. 

Yilport chairman Robert Yildirim told Lloyd's that if he reaches a deal, he will not settle for less than 51 percent of Ports America: “I want to be in the driving seat so that I can make all the necessary investments in terms of equipment, infrastructure, software and business relationships,” he said. “In order to do that, I need to have majority control.”

A similar proposed transaction a decade ago failed due to political opposition. UAE-based DP World bought British firm P&O Navigation in 2006, acquiring the core assets of what would become Ports America – terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey, Port of Philadelphia, Port of Baltimore, Port of New Orleans, and the Port of Miami, among others. The deal received regulatory approval but sparked a round of protests from both parties in Congress, with many senators and representatives objecting to the prospect of a Dubai-based firm owning port terminals, on alleged security grounds. DP World eventually sold the newly acquired U.S. operations to AIG's Highstar subsidiary, which was later spun off as Highstar Capital.