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WFW advises Global Ports Holding on Venice cruise port acquisitions

Posted on: 15 August 2016

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has successfully advised Global Ports Holding (“GPH”), the world’s largest cruise port operator, on the acquisition of two significant stakes in Venezia Terminal Passeggeri S.p.A (“Venezia Terminal Passeggeri”) made via Venezia Investimenti S.r.l., which is jointly owned in equal shares by GPH and fellow industry leaders Costa Crociere, MSC Cruises SA and Royal Caribbean.

The first acquisition was of a 48% stake in APVS S.r.l. which owns 53% of Venezia Terminal Passeggeri, from Veneto Sviluppo S.p.A. The second of an 85.85% stake in Finpax S.r.l., which owns 22.18% of Venezia Terminal Passeggeri, from certain Venice port operators. The remaining stakes in Venezia Terminal Passegeri are held by SAVE SpA (22.18%) and the Chamber of Commerce of Venice, Rovigo and the Delta Lagoon (2.64%).

Venezia Terminal Passeggeri was founded in 1997 by the Port Authority of Venice, and manages ten multi-functional terminals, one deposit for ship’s stores, six parking lots and seven docks in the Marittima, San Basilio and Riva dei Sette Martiri areas, as well as providing high quality services to all ships (cruises, ferries, catamarans) calling in Venice.

Founded in 2004, Global Ports Holding has an established portfolio of ten ports spread across seven countries in the Mediterranean and Asia-Pacific regions, including extensive commercial port operations in Turkey and Montenegro. GPH was named “Best Cruise Port Operator” at the 10th International Golden Anchor Marine Achievement Awards in 2015.

The WFW Milan team advising GPH was led by Asset Finance partner Francesco Dialti Assisted by senior associate Elena Macchi and associates Federico Tropeano and Giorgia Gentilini.

Francesco commented: “I am delighted to have advised the world’s largest and best regarded cruise port operator on the acquisition, along with other leading global sector players, of major stakes in one of the cruise industry’s most iconic ports. Nothing demonstrates better WFW’s status as the leading law firm for the cruise sector worldwide”.

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