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Abu Dhabi Investment Authority said to be weighing bids for stake in UK port giant

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By Dinesh Nair (Bloomberg) —

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is among parties considering bids for a 34 percent stake in Associated British Ports, Britain’s largest port operator, according to people familiar with the matter.

Infrastructure investors Stonepeak Partners LP and British Columbia Investment Management are among those interested in the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s stake, according to people familiar with the matter. The stake could be worth around 2 billion pounds ($2.4 billion) or more, they said.

ABP owns and operate Twenty-one ports in England, Scotland and Wales handle around a quarter of the UK’s seaborne trade and over £150 billion in UK trade each year. CPPIB acquires stake in Ports Group from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Prudential Plc for £1.6bn 2015.

ABP’s other shareholders include Omers Infrastructure Management, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte and Wren House Infrastructure.

The deliberations are at an early stage and there is no certainty that any offer will be made, said the people, who asked not to be named to discuss confidential information. Other suitors, including existing shareholders, could also emerge, the people said.

Spokespeople for ADIA, British Columbia Investment Management and CPPIB declined to comment, while a representative for Stonepeak did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Despite a general slowdown in global deal activity, demand for infrastructure assets has remained resilient, with investors keen to add assets that can deliver more stable and predictable returns to their portfolios.

In December, Saudi Arabia’s Hassana Investment Co. agree Investing $2.4 billion in three flagship developments for Dubai port operator DP World.The deal comes about six months after the $5 billion invest By Canada’s Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec is located in the Middle East’s largest port and two industrial areas.

© 2023 Bloomberg Intelligence

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