Sources: Deutsche Bank unit bidding to run Va. port
NORFOLK, Aug 18, 2012 (Menafn - The Virginian-Pilot - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --A real-estate investment arm of Deutsche Bank, the German banking giant, has filed a proposal to state officials to run the terminals of the Virginia Port Authority, two industry sources have told The Pilot.
The proposal from Deutsche Bank's RREEF unit is one of three the state has received from outside entities to take over port operations. All three bidders are global heavyweights.
Virginia officials disclosed in May that APM Terminals Inc., a unit of the Danish maritime giant A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, had filed an unsolicited proposal to run the terminals.
That led the state to solicit other proposals. Earlier this week, a Washington-based private-equity firm, The Carlyle Group, disclosed that it had turned in an alternative proposal to APM's bid before a Monday deadline. Carlyle has been the nation's most active private-equity investor over the past year, with more than 14 billion in acquisitions, according to Thomson Reuters.
Virginia International Terminals Inc., the private company that has operated the Port Authority's terminals for three decades, also will be competing to continue to run the state facilities.
Officials at Deutsche Bank and state Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton declined to comment Friday about the RREEF proposal.
No other details of the proposal are known at this time.
The industry sources who disclosed RREEF's proposal did so on the condition that their names not be used.
RREEF is no stranger to ports and the maritime industry.
Five years ago, it purchased New Jersey-based Maher Terminals LLC, which operates terminal facilities in Elizabeth, N.J., and the Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia.
Its facility in New Jersey -- the company kept the Maher name -- is the largest container terminal in North America, according to the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey's website.
Maher is now developing a 315-acre container terminal and intermodal rail facility in Nova Scotia, according to Maher's website.
The privately owned terminal "will be the closest east coast port to Europe and Asia via the Suez Canal," the website states.
This year, however, Deutsche Bank had its real-estate investment unit on the block.
In June, the bank announced the end of talks with Guggenheim Partners "over a potential sale of RREEF."
On Aug. 7, The Wall Street Journal reported that Deutsche Bank raised the possibility of selling RREEF nine months ago.
"Investors are still wondering about its future," the newspaper reported. "The bank's lack of clear direction is putting its real-estate fund group at a competitive disadvantage, some investors and consultants say."
RREEF has 56 billion under management and "invests primarily in commercial real estate globally," The Journal reported.
An overview of the four proposals to operate the Port Authority facilities is expected to be presented Wednesday in Richmond at a meeting of the authority's board of commissioners.
Robert McCabe, 757-446-2327, firstname.lastname@example.org
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