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Goldman Sachs consortium raises ABP bid again to $5.1 billion

Goldman Sachs consortium raises ABP bid again to $5.1 billion

   The board of Associated British Ports Holdings last night accepted a revised '2.79 billion ($5.09 billion) takeover offer from the Goldman Sachs-led consortium, Admiral Acquisitions UK Ltd. The offer represents '9.10 ($16.58) per share.

   It is the second time that Admiral — comprising Goldman Sachs, Canadian pension fund Borealis Infrastructure Management Inc., the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. and Infracapital Partners (acting through its manager M&G Investment Management Ltd.) — has had to raise its bid.

   Admiral previously had a '8.10 ($14.76) per share offer accepted before interest from a consortium including Australia’s Macquarie Bank forced it to go to '8.40 ($15.30) per share.

   ABP’s board is thought to have asked Admiral and the Macquarie consortium to make their best and final offers. “The boards of directors of Admiral and ABP announce that after a competitive process they have reached agreement on the terms of recommended revised proposals for the acquisition of the entire issued and to be issued share capital of ABP by Admiral,” ABP and Admiral said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

   Under terms of the agreement, ABP will pay Admiral a 1 percent break fee — about '28 million ($51 million) — if the deal doesn’t go ahead.

   U.K. investment company 3i Group is thought to have pulled out of the Macquarie consortium after not featuring in a response to Admiral’s accepted offer: “The consortium including Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund, Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund II, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Industry Funds Management and Macquarie Bank Ltd. urges shareholders in AB Ports to take no action in response to the revised proposal by Admiral Acquisitions issued today.”

   “The consortium is considering its position and a further announcement will be made in due course,” it added.

   ABP’s shares were up 3.36 percent to '9.12 ($16.61) at midday.