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Grimaldi Buys Majority Stake in Port of Heraklion

heraklion
Courtesy Heraklion Port Authority

Published Dec 18, 2023 2:04 PM by The Maritime Executive

Con/ro and ferry operator Grimaldi has agreed to buy a majority stake in the port of Heraklion, the busiest port on the island of Crete.

For a total of about $80 million, a Grimaldi subsidiary acquired a 67 percent stake in the Heraklion Port Authority from the Greek government. The public port was put out to tender by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund in the latest in a series of port privatization deals. 

It is the second in a series of major investments by Grimaldi in the Greek port sector. It also recently acquired a majority stake in the Igoumenitsa Port Authority. 

In a high-profile signing ceremony Monday, Greek Minister of Finance Kostis Hatzidakis, Minister of Shipping Christos Stylianides, Minister of Rural Development and Food Lefteris Avgenakis and HRADF CEO Dimitris Politis joined Grimaldi executives to sign over control of the port authority. 

"Having been born and raised in Crete myself, I am happy about today's development. I believe that the port of Heraklion, one of the largest ports in the country, is moving to another level," said Hatzidakis in a statement. 

Through HRADF, the Greek state retains a 33 percent stake in the port authority's operation and development. "We are ready as shareholders and as port planning authority to cooperate with Grimaldi Group for the optimal development of the port of Heraklion for the benefit of Crete and the national economy as a whole," said Politis. 

Emanuele Grimaldi, head of the family business and chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping, noted that the group was Heraklion's main customer through the operations of subsidiary Minoan Lines. He said that Grimaldi was committed to developing Heraklion's passenger, cruise and freight businesses, creating jobs, and transforming the harbor into a "true green port."