Aitken Spence PLC, the pioneering conglomerate which entered into the first ever Public Private Partnership overseas by a Sri Lankan company when it acquired a controlling shareholding in Fiji Ports Terminals Ltd in 2013 and signed a 15 year concession agreement to manage Suva and Lautoka international ports in Fiji, further expanded its footprint in the South Pacific by acquiring a 20% shareholding in Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd (FPCL). FPCL manages all the major Ports in Fiji and is a wholly owned government company.
Recently the Fijian Government under its divestment programme invited expressions of interests from interested parties to purchase an equity stake in FPCL. Aitken Spence PLC together withFiji National Provident Fund formed a consortium and submitted a bid for a 59% shareholding, which was accepted by the Fijian Government. Fiji National Provident Fund has acquired a shareholding of 39% in FPCL. The legal agreements were signed on 5th November 2015 in the presence of the Hon Prime Minister of Fiji, HE Frank Bainimarama signifying a landmark in the divestment programme initiated by the Fijian Government. The total investment in FPCL by the consortium for a 59% shareholding is FJ$99.12 million (approximately US$ 50 million).
FPCL provides marine and navigation services, port infrastructure development and maintenance, security and International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS), management of local wharves and wharfage services. Additionally, FPCL manages the ports sector and administers tariffs in all major ports of Fiji. FPCL through its fully owned subsidiary Fiji Ships and Heavy Industries Limited provides ship repair services. It also has a 49% shareholding in the port terminal operator Fiji Ports Terminal Ltd, where Aitken Spence PLC has a 51% shareholding.
The Fijian Government through this partnership has taken a major step in achieving its vision of making Fiji the gateway port hub in the Pacific. Aitken Spence PLC, being the only Sri Lankan company to provide port management services overseas is keen to provide the expertise and the technical know-how to realize the vision of the Fijian Government.