Forth Ports accepted a takeover offer from its largest shareholder that values the UK's last listed ports operator at $1.24 billion.
Arcus Capital, which currently owns 22.8 percent of Forth Ports, will pay $26.60 cash for each share it does not already own, plus a dividend of 33 cents per share to existing shareholders.
Edinburgh, Scotland-based Forth Ports, which owns six ports in Scotland as well as Tilbury on the river Thames near London, last year rebuffed several offers, including a $22.80 per share bid from the Northstream consortium that included Arcus Capital.
Forth Ports news from JOC:
Forth Ports 2010 Container Volume Falls 7 Percent
Northstream pulled its bid, saying it couldn't justify a higher price because of uncertainty over the economy and the value of Forth Ports real estate assets.
"The Arcus offer gives Forth Ports shareholders the opportunity to realize their investment for cash at a fair price," said Forth Ports chairman David Richardson.
"Forth Ports is a strong company with high quality infrastructure assets and a robust business model, which we plan to invest in and grow," said Arcus Capital partner Simon Gray.
Forth Ports simultaneously announced it boosted pre-tax profit in 2010 to $129 million from $76.6 million in 2009 bolstered by one off gains of $32 million on revaluations of its property assets.
Revenue grew 5 percent to $297 million, and cargo tonnage also rose 5 percent to 20.9 million metric tons.
Container traffic at Tilbury Container Services terminal near London rose 10 percent to 307,300 boxes but dipped 7 percent at the Scottish port of Grangemouth to 129,120 boxes.
Forth Ports is the last remaining independent UK ports operator following a spate of takeovers of British ports, mainly by foreign groups, in 2005 and 2006.
Dubai's DP World bought P&O Ports; a Goldman Sachs-led consortium acquired Associated British Ports, the country's top port operator; and Canada's Brookfield Asset Management owns the second largest operator, PD Ports.
Hong Kong's Hutchison Ports owns Felixstowe, the UK's biggest container hub, and a fund managed by Germany's Deutsche Bank, has a 49 percent stake in the operator of the port of Liverpool.
-- Contact Bruce Barnard at email@example.com.