A new player has entered the contest to privatize the Port of Virginia.
Investment banking giant J.P. Morgan has partnered with Maher Terminals in its bid to operate all the terminals in Hampton Roads
, according to the proposal posted on the Virginia Port Authority's Website and first reported by the Virginian-Pilot
The Maher-J.P. Morgan Infrastructure Investment Group team is going up against APM Terminals, which started the privatization process last spring by making an unsolicited offer valued at $3.1 billion to $3.9 billion to take over operations of the entire port for 48 years, and incumbent Virginia International Terminals, the state corporation that currently manages operations.
According to the Virginian-Pilot
, J.P. Morgan is replacing Deutsche Bank's real estate arm RREEF in the consortium.
APM Terminals also submitted an updated proposal. Detailed proposals were due Dec. 3.
Another private equity company, The Carlyle Group, dropped out of consideration in October.
Officials say they plan to make a final decision by late spring about whether to go ahead with a private operator or maintain the status quo. - Eric Kulisch