Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Forth the Next Port of Call for Takeover Talk

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Forth the Next Port of Call for Takeover Talk

Article excerpt

Byline: MICKEY CLARK

IT looks all over bar the shouting at Associated British Ports, up 31p at 912p, following the apparent knockout bid worth 910p a share from US investment bank Goldman Sachs.

But City speculators are already looking out for the next likely takeover candidate and, judging by the movement in the shares today, it looks as if they have begun targeting Forth Ports. The shares rose 28p to 1856p, making Forth one of the better performers among second-liners and valuing the company at almost [pounds sterling]850 million.

Forth would be an ideal target for any predator hoping to make the most of the current boom in world trade and attracted by a strong cashflow and asset base. It owns Grangemouth, Rosyth, Dundee and, more importantly, Tilbury - one of the biggest container operations in the UK. It also has 400 acres of prime waterfront land, ripe for redevelopment, in Edinburgh.

Broker Oriel Securities said this week that Forth was a likely bid target, so it was only reasonable to value the shares using acquisition multiples. It reckons an eventual takeout price could reach 2034p - valuing the company at [pounds sterling]927 million - while a contested bid could drive the price even higher.

Share prices generally posted modest gains in another day of waferthin trading. The FTSE 100 index rose 12.5 to 5696.6 despite a setback for the Dow on Wall Street overnight.

Oil shares were to the fore, buoyed by talk by one Saudi Arabian diplomat this week that oil could reach $200 a barrel. Iran has now said it will stop importing petrol and introduce rationing in September. BProse 91/2p to 6141/2p while Royal Dutch Shell was 20p dearer at 1815p and Cairn Energy 37p higher at 2012p.

Stagecoach responded to the sale of its London bus franchise to Australia's Macquarie Bank for [pounds sterling]263 million with a rise of 31/2p to 1101/2p. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.