Laga assisted Port of Ghent (Belgium) in its merger with Zeeland Seaports (the Netherlands) and creation of North Sea Port.
The cross-border merger of equals between the two port authorities places the new combined North Sea Port firmly within the top 10 of largest European ports. A transaction of this type is unprecedented on such a large scale.
North Sea Port immediately positions itself among the top of European sea ports: it is the number three in added value and the number ten in cargo transhipment. By the year 2022, North Sea Port wants to be a leading brand in the international port world. By then, it wants to increase its added value by 10%, its maritime traffic to 70 million tonnes (currently 62 million tonnes) and inland traffic to 60 million tonnes (currently 55 million tonnes). The employment is expected to grow to 100,000 jobs (direct and indirect, currently rounded off to 97,000). North Sea Port has almost 1,000 hectares allocatable land.
The merger agreement was signed and announced on 8 December 2017, after shareholder approvals were obtained. Completion of the transaction is scheduled to take place in the second quarter of 2018.
Laga fielded a comprehensive multidisciplinary team led by Corporate – M&A partner Marc Van tieghem (picture) and further including (amongst others) key team members Wim Naudts (Public Law, Regulatory and Permits), Guy Buelens (Corporate – M&A) and Inge Derde (Employment, Pensions and Benefits).
Law Firms: Laga;
Clients: Port of Ghent;