Acquisition marks debut of Turkish port operator in Africa
AFC sells share in port concession
GHANA: Turkish port and container terminal operator, Yilport Holding has acquired Africa Finance Corporation’s (AFC) 35% stake in Atlantic Terminal Services Limited (ATSL), the concessionaire for the expansion of Ghana’s Takoradi Port – marking their first port venture on the African continent.
“The acquisition of a stake in the Atlantic Terminal Services through AFC’s valued partnership marks a momentous occasion for Yilport Holding,” said Robert Yuksel Yildirim, Chairman and CEO of Yilport Holding. “This serves as a strategic gateway for us to establish our presence in the African market, and it aligns seamlessly with our commitment to fostering world-class logistics and trading hubs on an international scale.”
Yilport Holding, a subsidiary of Amsterdam and Istanbul-based Yildirim Group, has been building world-class, multipurpose port facilities since 2004, with a target to become a top 10 global port operator by 2030. Investment in Takoradi represents an ideal entry point into Africa for Yilport, which plans to transform the port and its adjacent area into a logistics and trading hub, ensuring high volumes of traffic.
In 2019, AFC committed to invest up to US$138 million in equity and debt for the Takoradi Port Expansion Project. The project, which is approaching the operational phase, aims to reduce the cost of imports and exports to and from the western and central regions of Ghana and neighbouring landlocked countries by modernising a container and multipurpose terminal under a 25-year concession for its design, engineering, financing and construction.
Through this transaction, AFC exits its shareholding, while Ibistek and Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority remain as shareholders in the project. AFC will continue to be lender to the project, fully committing to ensuring its success.
A vital seaport in Ghana’s Western Region, Takoradi plays a crucial role in the nation’s economic growth and regional connectivity. It offers shorter and less-congested links to west and central Ghana, including the Takoradi region, which boasts of substantial agricultural activity including 50% of Ghana’s cocoa production, as well as manufacturing, industrial and business parks, and a growing natural resources sector.
The port is also well suited to provide linkages to neighbouring landlocked countries. The project forms part of the country’s national development plan to revitalize and industrialize the western region and enhance Ghana’s overall efficiency and competitiveness by reducing the cost of imports and exports, building local capacity and generating direct employment opportunities.
Samaila Zubairu, President & CEO of Africa Finance Corporation said, “This exit marks a significant milestone for AFC’s impact on the continent and we take pride in our pivotal role in driving the implementation and de-risking of the Takoradi Port Expansion. The project is reshaping West Africa’s economic landscape and partnering with a reputable investor like Yilport Holding aligns with our mandate to catalyse the inﬂow of global investment into Africa to transform supply chains, create local jobs and enable resource beneficiation.”