Morgan Stanley buys 80% of Montreal Gateway terminal
Germany's TUI AG, parent company of shipping line Hapag-Lloyd, has sold an 80 percent stake in the Montreal Gateway terminal to the investment arm of Morgan Stanley.
TUI gained the Canadian terminal when it bought Anglo-Canadian carrier CP Ships in 2005, and said the sale to Morgan Stanley will help reduce its net debt by about 300 million euros ($393.1 million).
Earlier reports suggested that Macquarie Bank was one of the bidders for the Montreal terminal, coming just a few months after the Australian bank agreed to buy the Halterm container terminal in Halifax.
The transaction between TUI and Morgan Stanley is expected to be completed during the first quarter. Under terms of the agreement, Morgan Stanley will take over operational control of the terminal.
TUI has recently resisted pressure to divest its shipping unit, which has suffered a downturn related to the CP Ships takeover as well as the general blip in the liner sector.
Since the end of 2006, the German group has entered into a sale and lease-back agreement for seven former CP Ships vessels with Swedish leasing company HSH N Nordic Finance AB, part of HSH Nordbank. As a result, the group said that it lowered its debt by about 320 million euros ($419.2 million).