Haifa Port Sale on the Horizon

YERUSHALAYIM -
A view of the port in the northern Israeli city of Haifa. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90/File)

Competition for the acquisition of Haifa port is heating up as investment groups from around the world prepare for the placement of formal bids in October.

The expected bidders—from Israel, Europe, India and the United Arab Emirates—are contending for a deal estimated to be worth as much as $600 million, according to a Monday Reuters report. Haifa’s port is the busiest shipping hub in Israel.

Authorities will likely announce a winner before the year ends, and transfer ownership at the beginning of 2022.

The lineup of potential buyers includes: Israel’s Shipyards Industries, which has partnered with Dubai’s DP World; the UK’s DAO Shipping, which is going in with Israel’s Generation Capital, and the London-based Lomar; Adani Ports, an Indian firm, has teamed with Israel’s Gadot Group, Reuters said.

The winning bidder won’t be sitting alone in the northern harbor; it will have competition from a Chinese-operated shipping terminal nearby that is scheduled to open by the end of this year. Israel is selling the existing Haifa port with financial incentives and land to develop, to offset the disadvantage of having to compete with China’s Shanghai International Port Group down the street.