Port Privatizations

Ports are amongst the most important infrastructure assets underpinning the global economy, they require government supervision and regulation. Establishing port infrastructure is complex and expensive and its operation requires substantial know-how and expertise. It is for this very reason that many governments opt for the partial or even wholesale privatization of their ports.

We advise governments and other sovereign stakeholders, investors and lenders on all legal aspects of port privatizations. Our advisory role begins at the early feasibility stages of a project. We help to identify the legal risks and opportunities thus allowing our clients to take timely and informed decisions on such privatizations.

We structure privatization processes together with the technical, economic and financial advisors. This ensures a high level of process certainty and investment security thus protecting the interests of both the sovereign stakeholders and private sector bidders [and investors] alike. We have the invaluable experience of having separately advised all major types of participant in such privatizations.

Often, in advance of a port privatization there will be a need to develop a new or adapt an existing regulatory framework. In this regard, the knowledge and understanding of internationally applied regulatory models for large port infrastructure is essential. We support our clients in developing an economically rational and marketable regulatory model that provides both legal certainty and protection. At the same time we have a deep understanding of the requirements of international investors and can therefore assist to increase the attractiveness of a port privatization leading to greater competition and an enhanced revenue outlook.

Our team has advised:

  • the Greek State Fund (HRADF) in connection with the brownfield privatization of the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki;
  • the Georgian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development in connection with the greenfield procurement procedure and the investment contract for the deep-water port of Anaklia;
  • The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg on the development of the regulatory framework for the Port of Hamburg;
  • a tender in connection with the acquisition of a concession for the construction and operation of the deep-water port JadeWeserPort; and
  • an infrastructure fund on the acquisition of an interest in a port operating business.