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Lincolnshire grabs Associated British Ports’ US unit

Associated British Ports, which opened its books to a Goldman Sachs-led consortium this week, has sold its US ports division to Lincolnshire Management.

New York-based Lincolnshire Management has acquired the US operations of Associated British Ports for a consideration of $107.8 million (€84.2 million).
 
Lincolnshire Management made the purchase of Amports through its Lincolnshire Equity Fund III vehicle, which closed on $433 million in 2004. The transaction comprised $100 million in cash and $7.8 million related to the assumption of finance leases.
 
Amports handles vehicle imports and provides auto-processing services at four port locations in the US: Baltimore; Maryland; Benicia; and California. For the year ended 31 December 2005, Amports reported profits before interest of $10.5 million on turnover of $71.1 million and net assets of $88.2 million.
 
Lincolnshire Management had been in exit mode this year prior to the Amports acquisition. In March, the firm sold its investments in American Coach Lines to Coach America for $60 million, netting a 35 percent IRR; and divested its seven-year investment in Illinois-based flatbed manufacturer Transcraft Corp. in a $71 million sale to Wabash National.
 
Associated British Ports has itself recently been the subject of takeover bids. Earlier this week, the UK ports group opened its books to a consortium comprising Goldman Sachs, Singapore’s GIC Special Investments and Canada’s Borealis Infrastructure Management.
 
The consortium made an improved offer for the UK business earlier this week after its 730 pence per share was rejected in March as being “wholly inadequate”. The new bid of 810 pence per share values the business at £2.5 billion (€3.6 billion; $4.6 billion).