MOSCOW (Reuters) - London-listed Russian ports operator Global Ports (GLPRq.L) said it was in talks to buy National Container Company (NCC), which owns container terminals and a dry port in and around St. Petersburg.
Russia's Vedomosti newspaper reported last week that NCC's owners, businessman Andrei Kobzar and Vitaly Yuzhilin, a member of Russia's lower house of parliament, had put the business up for sale. A market source told Reuters last week that the business could be worth about $1 billion, excluding debt.
In a news release, Global Ports said it "confirms that it is in discussions with the owners of NCC, which owns a number of sea and inland container terminals."
Global Ports said that trading in its shares had been suspended due to media reports of the acquisition.
NCC reported profit of $79.7 million and sales of $253.3 million for 2012, according to Global Ports' statement.
Global Ports said it was seeking to grow organically and by making acquisitions, and that it regularly reviewed all sector opportunities.
Reporting By Megan Davies, Additional reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford