Logistics move

Consortium plans £2bn bid for English ports

PD Ports has 12 facilities

A consortium of investors is close to sealing a £2 billion takeover of 12 ports and distribution hubs stretching from Teesside to the Isle of Wight.

The Tees Valley Combined Authority is partnering with Legal & General, Credit Suisse, the Pension Insurance Corporation and Northumberland Estates to bid for PD Ports, owned by the Canadian asset management giant Brookfield Asset Management, according to reports this weekend.

Middlesbrough-based PD Ports’ key asset is Teesport, Britain’s fifth-biggest port by tonnage, where it has two facilities.

It also has operations at Billingham, Felixstowe, Groveport, Hartlepool, Howden, Hull, Immingham, Isle of Wight, Keadby and the Thames Estuary. Brookfield acquired the company in 2009.

Felixstowe, Thames, Humber and Teesside were among eight ports named by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in March as new freeports.

Freeports allow operators and businesses to benefit from a package of financial and customs incentives which can attract inward investment.

A number of plans have been unveiled in Scotland for a “green port”, a variation on the freeport concept by including stiffer conditions on issues such as fair work, inclusivity and net zero targets.

The Scottish Government last month received nine expressions of interest in setting up a green port amid concern that Scotland could be behind England is establishing a freeport.

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