has signed an agreement to acquire two businesses from BCR Marine in Canada for CDN$105 million. The assets concerned are the CASCO container terminal (Centerm) in Vancouver and Canadian Stevedoring, which offers cargo handling services in ports throughout British Columbia. It is P&O Ports' first venture into the Canadian market and its first acquisition on the West Coast of North America. Completion of the transaction is anticipated in the first quarter of 2003.
Vancouver is one of the fastest growing container ports on the West Coast of North America and has established a strong competitive position. It benefits from good intermodal links into both Canada
and the US. Historic volume growth rates have exceeded 10 percent per annum since 1991 and in 2002, the annual growth rate was 27 percent.
CASCO is one of three container terminals in Vancouver and in 2002 handled over 280,000 TEU. Capacity at the terminal is 300,000 TEU which can be expanded to 600,000 TEU in the medium term. The current lease with the Vancouver Port Authority expires in 2029.