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ARM Innovation Hub
19 July, 2006 - 15:47 By Staff Reporter

Multi-billion port deal gets green light

Associated British Ports shareholders have voted to approve a scheme to implement the recommended cash purchase of ABP by Admiral Acquisitions - an international consortium led by Goldman Sachs.The way is now cleared for a swift completion to the £2.8bn deal - handing Goldman Sachs consolation for missing out on BAA's UK airports portfolio.

ABP, which owns three East Anglian ports - Ipswich, Lowestoft and King's Lynn - will delist from London Stock Exchange's main market by August 16 if all goes to schedule.

The way was left open for Admiral when Australian bank Macquarie lost a cornerstone investor from its consortium, the UK venture capital group 3i, and withdrew from a bidding fight.

Goldman Sachs has reportedly said that it plans to retain ABP's chief executive Bo Lerenius and is committed to the long-term ownership and continued development of the business.

All ABP's East of England ports are thriving on a wave of continued investment.

ABP recently committed to invest £130,000 in the Port of Lowestoft on the back of a new five-year agreement with the Waveney Asphalt Company Ltd to import a minimum of 40,000 tonnes of aggregates every year through the port.

The first call of the new service saw m.v. Swanland discharge 2,707 tonnes of limestone chippings and single-sized aggregates from Devon.

Both limestone chippings and aggregates are core ingredients in the production of bituminous road-paving material - the main component used in asphalt and macadam layering, which is Lowestoft-based Waveney Asphalt's speciality.

ABP's investment will see the removal of a steel-framed warehouse from the port's North Quay Cargo Terminal and the installation of 10 segregated aggregates storage bays in its place.

With a combined holding capacity of 20,000 tonnes, the bays will house Waveney Asphalt's shipments before delivery to their asphalt-coating plant in Ellough, Suffolk.

The plant itself was imported through the port late last year from Duisberg, Germany, aboard m.v. RMS Rhenus and m.v. RMS Setlark.

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