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MSC Group-Global Ports Holding takeover talks are terminated

A busy day at GPH-operated Nassau Cruse Port
An MSC Group subsidiary confirmed it does not intend to make an offer for Global Ports Holding, the world's largest cruise port operator.

SAS Shipping Agencies Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company Holdings, had approached GPH with a potential cash offer for all of its shares on June 15.

Talks had been ongoing.

Confidence in 'strategic direction as an independent port operator'

GPH today said it had terminated the discussions, adding that its board 'remains confident in GPH’s strategic direction as an independent port operator with open access cruise port concessions and arm’s length treatment of berthing rights for all its customers.'

Said Mehmet Kutman, co-founder, CEO and chairman of GPH: 'The board of GPH is wholly committed to the successful execution of our long-term strategy to grow the business and create value for all shareholders while providing industry-leading investment and service levels at our cruise ports for the benefit of all stakeholders.'

Cruise port clout

A potential takeover of GPH by the parent of MSC Cruises could have had 'huge, huge implications' for cruising, an industry source said when the talks were first disclosed.

GPH operates 26 cruise ports in 14 countries.

Its holdings include a bevy of key ports across the Mediterranean, among them Kusadasi, Barcelona, Lisbon, Valletta, Málaga, Venice, Cagliari and others, while Americas ports are Nassau and Antigua. Asia operations include Singapore.

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