NYK ACQUIRES CERES TERMINAL
Nippon Yusen Kaisha, the Japanese shipping line, announced today the takeover of Ceres Terminals Inc., the independent terminal operator active on the U.S. East Coast and Gulf coasts, the Great Lakes, Canada and the Netherlands.
Terms of the acquisition, made under a binding agreement, were not disclosed.
The takeover marks a big push by NYK into the common-user port business. The Japanese group already operates container terminals, mainly in Japan and on the U.S. West Coast.
Ceres, headquartered in Weehawken, N.J., has annual revenues of more than $150 million. The container side of its operations handles more than 2.5 million TEUs a year.
“With this acquisition, NYK contemplates handling in excess of 6 million TEUs worldwide in 2003, thereby propelling the company into the ranks of the world’s premier terminal operators,” the Japanese group said.
Founded in 1958 by Christos Kritikos, Ceres provides stevedoring and terminal operating services in: Halifax, Nova Scotia; Baltimore, Md.; Norfolk, Va.; Charleston, S.C.; Savannah, Ga.; New Orleans; Houston; Chicago; Cleveland; and Duluth, Minn. Ceres also participates in a joint venture with Logistec in Montreal.
Ceres also operates the Ceres Amsterdam Marine Terminals B.V. and the Amsterdam Paragon Container Terminal in the Netherlands. The Paragon terminal has an innovative indented berth design that allows a container ship to be worked simultaneously on two sides.
The purchase of Ceres provides NYK “with a significant terminal operating base on the East and Gulf coasts of North America,” the Japanese group said. Ceres Terminals also gives NYK an entry into the European port business, via its terminals in Amsterdam.
The Ceres locations will complement NYK’s existing facilities in Los Angeles and Oakland, Tokyo, Yokohama, Kobe and Kaohsiung. NYK also has investments in facilities in Nagoya, Japan; Laem Chabang, Thailand; and Sydney, Australia.
Ceres provides stevedoring services mainly for containers, but also handles every type of cargo, including general cargo, roll-on/roll-off, bulk commodities, steel, grain, dry bulk materials, project cargo, heavy lift and vehicles.
Kritikos, president of Ceres, and his management team will remain with the company after the acquisition, NYK said. “Continuity of management and maintenance of superior service levels is a key for NYK to insure this new acquisition continues to prosper and grow,” it said.
NYK’s strategy is to grow several business segments, not just in the ocean transportation sector, but also in worldwide logistics and other transportation related activities that support NYK’s worldwide freight handling network. “As one of the world’s largest vessel operators, terminal capability for containers as well as roll-on/roll-off and breakbulk cargoes represents a vital business sector for NYK,” it said.
NYK and Ceres expect to close the acquisition by late October.
NYK’s takeover of Ceres follows the acquisition in recent years of the U.S. stevedores ITO, Gulf Services Inc. and Fairway Terminal Corp. by P&O Ports and the takeover of Sea-Land’s former U.S. terminals by A.P. Moller.