Goldman Sachs group raises ABP bid as Macquarie consortium enters fray
Late interest in Associated British Ports Holdings from a rival consortium headed by Australia’s Macquarie Bank has forced the Goldman Sachs-led group, Admiral Acquisitions UK Ltd., to raise its offer to '8.40 ($15.53) per share, from Wednesday’s accepted $8.10 ($14.97) per share bid.
Admiral’s revised offer is valued at about '2.57 billion ($4.75 billion).
Last night, a consortium including Macquarie Bank, 3i Group plc, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Industry Funds Management, confirmed that it is considering making a cash offer for ABP. It also said it “urges shareholders in AB Ports to take no action in response to the revised offer.”
“The Board is currently evaluating the Macquarie Consortium’s proposal in light of the revised cash offer from Admiral. A further announcement will be made in due course,” the board of ABP said.
Last month, a consortium headed by Macquarie Bank failed with a similar last-minute attempt to hijack Toll Holdings takeover of Australian ports and airport operator Patrick Corp., only for one of the consortium members to withdraw its interest.
Macquarie’s interest helped ABP’s share price on the London Stock Exchange jump 5.75 percent to '8.74 ($16.16) at 12:50 p.m. local time today, from Wednesday’s closing price.
ABP shareholders have seen a 48.8 percent rise in their investment since Feb. 7 — the last business day prior to the Admiral consortium’s announcement regarding a potential offer for ABP — when the U.K. ports company’s share price was 587.5 pence ($10.86).