The man who helped launch Simona Halep’s career builds EUR 52 mln grain terminal in Constanta
Comvex Constanta, one of the biggest marine bulk handling terminals in Romania’s Black Sea port of Constanta, will build a new grain terminal with a storage capacity of 200,000 tonnes. The total investment in this new terminal will be some EUR 52 million, according to the company’s official documents.
Romanian investor Corneliu Idu indirectly controls Convex Constanta through a group of companies. Idu, who is one of the richest men in Constanta, also owns a tennis club in the city and has helped young local players, such as Simona Halep and Horia Tecau, to grow into international tennis stars. Both Halep and Tecau benefitted from Idu’s support in the final years of their junior careers, according to Ziarul Financiar.
His new terminal would be the only facility in the Constanta Port that would allow the direct loading and unloading of large grain carriers with a capacity of 65,000 tdw (tons deadweight) or more. The other grain terminals in the port don’t have the water depth to allow the direct loading and unloading of such big vessels, and the handling can only be done with cranes, according to a technical report made by local design institute IPTANA. This is more expensive and takes a longer time to complete.
Grain traffic through Constanta Port reached almost 20 million tons, or over a third of the total commodities that went through the port. By comparison, in 2007, grain traffic was only 4.3 million tons, or 8% of the port’s freight traffic.
Meanwhile, the quantities of iron ore, metal products, and solid mineral fuels, the main commodities handled by Comvex, dropped significantly due to problems in the local steel industry. This has also led to a significant drop in the company’s financial indicators. Comvex had a turnover of EUR 14.3 million in 2015, down from EUR 39 million in 2013.
The company will finance the EUR 52 million investment through a combination of bank loans and own resources. The company’s shareholders approved in July the use of undistributed profits worth over EUR 5.3 million for this project. The shareholders have also mandated the company’s management to negotiate bank loans for the investment.
The company has recently called upon its shareholders to also approve a share capital increase worth EUR 3.37 million. This proposal will be discussed in September.
Comvex is a listed company and its shares are traded on the Bucharest Stock Exchange’s alternative market segment AeRO. The company has a market capitalization of EUR 26.7 million (as of August 30).