Ports America Chesapeake Successfully Closes 50-Year Lease and Concession Agreement To Operate and Upgrade The Seagirt Marine Terminal In The Port of Baltimore

Jan 12, 2010, 11:52 ET from Ports America Group

BALTIMORE, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Ports America Group ("Ports America") today announced that its subsidiary Ports America Chesapeake ("PAC") has successfully closed on a 50-year lease and concession agreement to operate the Seagirt Marine Terminal ("Seagirt") in the Port of Baltimore.  The concession was approved by the Maryland Board of Public Works on December 16, 2009.

The agreement provides more than $1.3 billion in value to the State of Maryland, creates 5,700 jobs, and delivers more than $15 million annually in new tax revenues.  Importantly, PAC will provide 100% of the funding to implement the Maryland Port Administration's ("MPA") long-standing vision and commitment to make Baltimore one of only two eastern ports capable of handling the large "Super Post Panamax" container ships that will begin calling the East Coast upon the completion of the Panama Canal widening project in 2014.  

"I share Governor Martin O'Malley's passion for the Port of Baltimore, and creating high quality jobs so critical to the Port's future and Maryland's competitiveness on the Atlantic seaboard," said Christopher Lee, Founder and Managing Partner of Highstar Capital.

"Baltimore is one of the best, most efficient ports in the country" Lee said. "I'm very proud to be a partner with the State of Maryland and look forward to our long association in making sure Baltimore maintains its great maritime heritage."

Commenting on the Baltimore Concession, Ports America Chesapeake CEO Mark Montgomery said: "We're proud and excited to work with the Maryland Port Administration, the International Longshoremen's Association, and all our ocean carrier customers, including Mediterranean Shipping Company and Evergreen, to help make this historic American port the most competitive facility on the East Coast."

Ports America is the largest independent American terminal operator and stevedore, with operations in 44 ports and 84 terminals. Ports America and its predecessor companies have served in the Port of Baltimore for over 88 years and have operated Seagirt since it was opened in 1990.

Ports America is owned by Highstar Capital, a leading independent operationally focused and value-added infrastructure investor that has directly invested over $5.2 billion of capital in infrastructure investments to date, primarily in the United States.  Ports America Chesapeake is the newly formed affiliate of Ports America that will be the day-to-day operator of Seagirt.

Goldman Sachs and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP served as financial advisor and legal advisor, respectively, to Ports America Chesapeake.  

About Ports America

Ports America, headquartered in Iselin, N.J., is the largest independent port terminal operator in North America, providing terminal management and a full suite of stevedoring and related services.  Ports America, including its predecessor companies, has almost 90 years experience operating American seaports. Its current business includes 44 ports and 84 terminals in North America, handling containers, roll on/roll off cargo, general cargo and cruise ship passengers and luggage.

For more information please visit Ports America's website at www.portsamerica.com

About Highstar Capital

Highstar Capital is an independent, owner-operated infrastructure investment fund manager with an operationally focused, value-added investment strategy.  Since it closed its first fund in 2000, Highstar has directly invested $5.2 billion for its limited partners and co-investors across its core infrastructure sectors of energy, environmental services and transportation.

For more information please visit Highstar Capital's website at www.highstarcapital.com

SOURCE Ports America Group