Thursday, July 20, 2006

ICTSI files suit against Guam port

By Jenniffer B. Austria
Manila Standard Today

International Container Terminal Services Inc. has lodged a complaint against the Port Authority of Guam for alleged unlawful termination of negotiations for a 10-year contract to handle cargo operations at the Jose D. Leon Guerrero commercial port in Guam.

ICTSI told the Philippine Stock Exchange that it asked the Superior Court of Guam to declare the termination of negotiations by PAG general manager Joseph Mesa unlawful and invalid.

ICTSI also urged the Superior Court of Guam to order PAG to resume negotiations with the company.

PAG also objected to the company’s proposal to establish a wholly-owned subsidiary to operate the Guam port.

ICTSI said the objection was contrary to the Guam law, which directed PAG to privatize the operation of the port and which authorized the establishment of local special purpose entity to operate the port.

ICTSI also said PAG’s requirement to disclose all holders of at least 10 percent shares in the company would not apply to a publicly listed firm such as ICTSI under specific provisions of the United States law.

“This case is still pending in court. ICTSI has retained a legal counsel in Guam to handle this case to protect ICTSI’s interest,” it said.

ICTSI in December emerged as the highest bidder for the port’s privatization, making it the first of three bidders to sit down with the port authority to negotiate for a contract.

It then formed a unit, Guam International Container Terminal Inc., for the project.

The agreement for the privatization of the commercial port will still require approval of the Guam Legislature.

However, PAG cancelled the talks with ICTSI in April.

Overseas, ICTSI operates Tecon Suape S.A. in Brazil, Baltic Container Terminal in Poland, Madagascar International Container Terminal in Toamasina and Naha International Container Terminal in Japan.

In the Philippines, the company operates the Manila International Container Terminal, Subic Bay International Terminal in Subic, Bauan Terminal in Batangas and Makar Wharf in General Santos City.

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