By Paula C. Squires
APM Terminals Inc., a global shipping giant that wants to take over the day-to-day operation of Virginia’s ports, has some competition. Two other alternative proposals were submitted by a Tuesday deadline.
State Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton said in an email that he could not disclose the identity of the new bidders at this time. “We are now in the process of reviewing the proposals to determine whether the documents satisfy the minimum submission criteria set out in the Request for Alterative proposals.” The Daily Press reports that the Carlyle Group, a Washington, D.C., private equity firm, is one of the bidders. It was among three groups who submitted bids to run the port in 2009, with the state rejecting those proposals.
Connaughton plans to brief the Virginia Port Authority’s board on the bids on Aug. 22, before publicly disclosing company names or the scope of the bids.
In April, APM Terminals submitted an unsolicited bid under the state’s Public-Private Transportation Act to operate all of the Port of Virginia’s facilities in Hampton Roads as well as an inland port in Front Royal. The deal, valued at $3.9 billion, also would transfer ownership of APM’s high-tech Portsmouth terminal to the state.
In addition, Virginia International Terminals, a private, state-sanctioned company that has run the ports for three decades, was asked by Connaughton to submit a proposal showing its volume and revenue projections for the port.
Editor’s note: In a cover story in September, Virginia Business will offer more coverage on the possible privatization of Virginia’s ports.
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