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Ports of Auckland targets Tauranga assets

Ports of Auckland targets Tauranga assets

Sydney: New Zealand-base Ports of Auckland managing director Jens Madsen has unveiled a company plan to buy Port of Tauranga's container business, writes Ports of Auckland, which declared an annual net profit of $21.1m for 2007 - down from $64.6m the year before (that included one-off profits), had previously attempted the merger.

"Although the 2007 Port of Tauranga / Ports of Auckland merger proposal was not successful the rationale for changes in the industry in the upper North Island is still strong," Madsen said.

"The sustainability of New Zealand's existing ports sector investments, the industry's ability to invest in the future and the global competitiveness of the country's supply chain might be assisted by the purchase of Port of Tauranga's container business by Ports of Auckland," he continued, adding, "A single integrated container business at the upper North Island would also facilitate a more sensible and coherent approach to investment in supporting infrastructure - in road, rail and coastal shipping."

However, Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns is reported to have dismissed the idea of a buy out on the basis that "A rough and ready calculation would suggest that Tauranga's container business would be worth substantially more than Ports of Auckland's container business." Cairns has not ruled out the idea of a complete merger.  [20/08/08]