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Global Ports backs takeover by largest shareholder as swings to profit

11th Jul 2024 10:01

(Alliance News) - Global Ports Holding PLC on Thursday said it has agreed to be bought by its largest shareholder, as it reported a swing to an annual profit amid sharply lower cost of sales.

The cruise port operator recommended an unconditional takeover offer by Global Yatirim Holding AS, its largest shareholder with a stake of around 59%.

Global Ports shareholders will receive USD4.02 per share, which values the company at around USD310 million. This represents a 40% premium to the average price of 224p for the three months ended June 13, the last business day before the start of the offer period.

Global Ports shares jumped 19% to 307.42 pence per share, or USD3.95, on Thursday morning in London, giving it a market capitalisation of GBP235.4 million, or USD303.1 million.

Following the planned takeover, Global Ports will de-list from the London Stock Exchange, expected to occur on August 9.

Global Ports separately reported that in the financial year ended March 31, it swung to a pretax profit of USD14.3 million from a loss of USD9.5 million the year before.

Revenue declined by 9.4% to USD193.6 million from USD213.6 million, but cost of sales was reduced by 35% to USD98.1 million from USD149.9 million. Administrative expenses came in 43% higher, however, at USD26.9 million from USD18.9 million.

The company has suspended dividend payments since 2020.

Passenger figures jumped 46% to 13.4 million in the recent year from 9.2 million the year before. Looking ahead, GPH expects over 16 million passengers in the upcoming 2025 reporting period, with volumes of nearly 20 million.

Chief Executive Officer & Chair Mehmet Kutman said: "We successfully expanded our cruise port network, completed our largest-ever investment project, and increased our shareholding at a number of key ports. In addition, we strengthened our balance sheet through a successful investment grade-rated issuance of secured private placement notes and extended the concession length at a number of ports. We have started the 2024 cruise season strongly and we are well positioned to be a key enabler and beneficiary of the cruise industry’s continued growth and success in the years ahead."

By Tom Budszus, Alliance News slot editor

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