Forth Ports Rebuffs $930 Million Offer

Forth Ports Rebuffs $930 Million Offer

Forth Ports, the UK's last listed ports operator, has rejected a $930 million takeover offer.

A consortium, whose members include the owner of the port of Liverpool, has built up a 27.4 percent stake in Forth Ports, which operates six Scottish ports as well as Tilbury on the river Thames near London.

The Northstream consortium initially proposed a $19.50 per share offer in late January. After that was rebuffed it increased its offer to $21. That offer was also rejected by Edinburgh-based Forth Ports.

Forth Ports said its board was of the "unanimous view that these proposals fall far short of the value of Forth Ports."

Northstream said it would increase its offer if it is given access to Forth Ports' financial figures in a due diligence exercise and if an offer is recommended by the company's board and all directors pledge to vote for the deal.

The consortium includes Peel Holdings, the majority owner of the port of Liverpool, the Manchester Canal and the Scottish box port of Clydeport.

Other partners are Arcus European Infrastructure Fund, which has a 14.1 percent stake in Luxembourg-based Euroports, an operator of bulk/breakbulk cargo terminals across Europe, and RREEF Infrastructure, a fund managed by Germany's Deutsche Bank, which has a 49.9 percent stake in Peel Ports Group.

Forth Ports' interests include a 33 percent share of Tilbury Container Services and Grangemouth, a Scottish container and breakbulk port. It also owns quayside property in Edinburgh and a renewable energy unit.

Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.