Privatization of the Port of Eilat approved by the Knesset Finance Committee

The privatization of the Port of Eilat was approved today by the Knesset Finance Committee. The Government Companies Authority presented the process for the privatization of Eilat Port Company Ltd to the members of the Committee. On completion of the sale, a private company will operate the port for a period of 15 years, with an option for another 10 years, subject to meeting the State’s goals for the development of container activity at the port.

On December 6, 2010, the Ministerial Committee for Privatization decided to sell 100% of the State’s shares in Eilat Port Company Ltd, which was set up in 2005 as a part of the port reform. The privatization will be carried out by means of a private sale, in accordance with the reform agreements signed in 2005.

In addition, the Finance Committee approved the Shipping and Ports Authority Order, whose purpose is to protect the State’s essential interests in the company.

Eilat Port Company Ltd was founded in 2005 and employs a staff of around 130. The company’s balance as at December 31, 2011, is NIS 261,047 thousand and its equity capital as at the same date was NIS 186,334 thousand. The company’s net revenues in 2011 amounted to NIS 115,736 thousand, and its net profit for that year was NIS 17,163 thousand.

Minister of Finance Dr. Yuval Steinitz said that “The privatization of the Port of Eilat will contribute to the development of Eilat and the Negev. The overall process will contribute to streamlining and competitiveness that will help Israeli exports and lower import costs, and the citizens of Israel will benefit. The privatization of the Port of Eilat paves the way for the future privatization of the ports of Haifa and Ashdod.”

Ministry of Finance Director General Doron Cohen congratulated the members of the Finance Committee on their decision and thanked the Chairman, MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni. “We have taken another step towards the sale of the Port of Eilat, as part of Israel’s port reform. Privatization of the Port of Eilat will make a significant contribution to competitiveness in the operation of the ports. Proper and efficient operation of the port is expected to lead to the development of port and logistical activity in the city and its environs, significantly increase the conveying of goods, improve the growing trade activity with the countries in the Far East and upgrade the tourism industry in the region.”

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