Arcus takes over Forth Ports for £760m

The UK’s last listed ports operator has agreed to be taken over by Arcus Infrastructure Partners for 1,630 pence per share plus a dividend of 20 pence a share, to be paid by early May. The infrastructure investor already owned 22.8 percent of Forth Ports.

With three prior rejections under its belt, London-based infrastructure investor Arcus Infrastructure Partners has finally succeeded in its attempt to take over Forth Ports, the UK’s only listed ports operator.
 
The winning offer accepted by Forth Ports’ management will see Arcus pay 1,630 pence a share for the 77.2 percent of the ports operator that it doesn’t already own in addition to a 20 pence per share dividend to shareholders in relation to 2010.
 
Arcus’ offer, tabled earlier this month, values Forth Ports at £760 million (€877 million; $1.2 billion), a 14.3 percent premium to the ports operator’s closing share price on February 21, the last trading day before press speculation arose regarding a possible offer for Forth Ports.
 
“The Arcus offer gives Forth Ports shareholders the opportunity to realise their investment for cash at a fair price,” David Richardson, chairman of Forth Ports, said in a statement.
 
This was not the first time Arcus had tried to acquire the ports operator. Last year, a consortium of Arcus, Peel Holdings and RREEF Infrastructure offered to buy Forth Ports for 1,400 pence per share, or £640 million. That offer was eventually dropped after Forth Ports said it fell short of the valuation placed on the business by its directors and invited the consortium to improve on it. It marked the third time the team tried to take over the ports operator.
 
Forth Ports, based in Edinburgh, owns and operates eight UK ports and associated land including Tilbury and seven ports on Scotland’s east coast, along the Forth Estuary and at Dundee, Forth Ports said in a statement. The firm also owns a recycling business called Nordic.