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American Shipper

Hutchison denies defeat in Colombo terminal bidding war

Hutchison denies defeat in Colombo terminal bidding war

Hong Kong-based Hutchison Port Holdings, the world’s largest container terminals operator, said a news report claiming it has been outbid for the right to operate a new 2.4 million container terminal in the Port of Colombo, Sri Lanka are “somewhat presumptuous and inaccurate.”

   Hutchison said it was responding to an article published on Friday in The Sri Lanka Daily Mirror, which claimed that a consortium of Aitken Spence and Singapore’s PSA Corp. had made the highest bid of $187 million for Colombo South Harbor terminal.

   The report had Hutchison’s bid of $162 million in second place in front of an alliance between Hayleys and Carson Cumberbatch and French shipping line CMA-CGM ($97 million); and a partnership between John Keells Holdings and South Asia Gateway Terminals, which runs Colombo port’s privatized box terminal ($62 million).

   “As far as we know, the evaluation committee has not yet concluded the appraisal of the financial bids. The winner of the bid will be determined by whoever offers the highest guaranteed total financial return on a net present value basis to the Sri Lankan government,” Hutchison said in a statement on Saturday.

   Aitken Spence has previously tried to block Hutchison’s proposal on eligibility grounds, and on Friday made the following statement to the Colombo Stock Exchange: “It appears from the opening of the financial proposals of all the bidders, that the consortium of PSA-Aitken Spence PLC has tendered the highest bid.”

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