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Macquarie nearing sale of Poland's Gdansk port terminal to SWF-led group - sources

By Dasha Afanasieva, Clara Denina  and Agnieszka Barteczko
    LONDON/WARSAW, Dec 20 (Reuters) - A consortium of investors
including the Poland's sovereign wealth fund PFR is close to
buying the country's DCT Gdansk port terminal, owned by the
infrastructure fund of Australia's Macquarie, three sources
familiar with the matter said.
    Macquarie launched the sale of the Polish port terminal,
which the sources said could be valued at around 1.5 billion
euros ($1.7 billion), over the summer with the help of Goldman
Sachs  GS.N .
    The sale would mean a state entity will hold a stake in the
strategic asset. Poland's government, run by the nationalist Law
and Justice (PiS) party, has said the country was too dependant
on foreign investors, who bought into the country in the 1990s
and 2000s and aims to buy back strategic assets.
    The winning consortium also includes Australian
infrastructure group IFM Investors and the world's largest port
operator PSA international, two of the sources said.  
    Macquarie, DCT Gdansk, IFM, PSA and Goldman Sachs did not
immediately respond to a request for comment. PFR declined to
comment. 
    DCT Gdansk, the only deep-sea port facility in Poland, is an
important hub for container vessels traffic between the Far East
and the Baltic countries. It attracted the interest of strategic
companies looking at expanding their footprint in the region. 
    The sources said that Chinese investors, including
state-owned shipping group COSCO, who typically prefer container
ports, had considered an offer for DCT Gdansk as part of an
effort to boost trade and connectivity between Asia, Africa and 
Europe. 
    Cosco has operated a container port in Piraeus in Greece
since 2008.
    Poland's state-owned PFR was created in 2016 as part of the
government's effort to own stakes or assets in the country's
strategic industries, including energy and infrastructure. 
    It recently bought a stake in the country's bus manufacturer
Solaris and participated in the capital increase of domestic
bank BOŚ Bank. It also owns stakes in the Polish Baltic Shipping
Company and train producer PESA, according to its website.
    Australian infrastructure investor IFM has invested in
Poland over the past decade, with a stake in heating operator
Veolia Energia Polska. In 2017, it bought Mersin International
Port in Turkey.
    One of the sources said IFM was working with Swiss
investment bank UBS  UBSG.S  for the purchase. 
    UBS declined to comment.

($1 = 0.8795 euros)

 (Additional reporting by Anna Koper in Warsaw; editing by David
Evans)
 ((clara.denina@thomsonreuters.com)(+44 207 542 9420)(Reuters
Messaging: clara.denina.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)(Twitter:
@claradenina))
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