Rival bid for ABP

24-08-2006

Britannia Ports, an Australian-led consortium, is expected to post a £2.7 billion offer for Associated British Ports (ABP) this week.

The consortium, led by Australian bank Macquarie, includes 3i, the British venture-capital group, and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board.

ABP executives are expected to hear from the bidders this week.

Britannia said it may make a cash offer, matching the 840p a share proposed by rival bidders Admiral Consortium, a group of investors led by US bank Goldman Sachs.

Other key investors in the group include the Prudential, Borealis, a Canadian pension-fund investor, and GIC Special Investments, backed by the Singaporean government.

The two other ports groups, P&O and PD Ports, have also been coveted by investors.

Dubai's DP World bought P&O in February and last year Australia's Babcock & Brown swooped on PD Ports.

ABP runs 21 ports including Southampton, Hull and Port Talbot and handles almost a quarter of the UK’s seaborne trade.

Separately, a third consortium, led by Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (CKI), is also examining its options over ABP, according to the Chinese media.



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