9th July 2015

PD Ports acquires Groveport to expand Humber presence

Port owners and operators, PD Ports has completed the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Groveport 2012 Limited (“Groveport”). Groveport is a privately owned inland port complex on the River Trent, which handles a mix of bulk cargoes through its 190 acre freehold site, and which has a dominant position in the UK’s market for imported steel long products.

David Robinson, PD Ports’ Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are extremely pleased to announce the acquisition of Groveport, which is an excellent strategic fit with PD Ports’ existing ports businesses on the East Coast of the UK. This business has a long established market position in key market sectors and a highly experienced team of people, and has a proven track record as an innovative and customer focussed ports business.

We look forward to working closely together in the coming months, to develop a stronger and progressive operating platform in the Humber, developing new business opportunities and creating opportunities for staff to grow and develop within the current and wider asset base.”

Martin Rees, Groveport’s Managing Director, said: “The acquisition of Groveport by PD Ports is a very positive natural progression for Groveport. We will become the major asset within PD Ports’ Humber activities, adding to what is already a well-established operation, providing services in both the short and deep sea shipping markets. For our customers and employees, we expect this to be very much business as usual, as PD Ports looks to expand on the successful development that has taken place at Groveport over the last ten years.”

Law firm Ward Hadaway and KPMG acted for PD Ports, with finance for the acquisition being provided by HSBC. Groveport were advised by Dow Schofield Watts and DWF.

Commenting on the transaction, Jon Schofield of Dow Schofield Watts said, “Groveport is an outstanding port operator with a secure business model based on solid customer and supplier relationships built over decades. The strength of the Groveport business, combined with the scale and resources of both PD Ports and its owner, Brookfield Asset Management, will create a formidable presence on the Humber. The proposition to PD Ports was significantly enhanced by the strength of the management team at Groveport as well as the business they have continued to grow and develop since taking over the company in 2005.”

Jon Marriott, Director at DWF Leeds said, “After acting for the management team in the original 2005 buy-in, it has been a privilege to continue supporting the business during the last 10 years. The business has gone from strength to strength under the excellent guidance of Andrew and Martin, despite difficult economic conditions, and will be a great asset for PD Ports to take forward.”

Commenting on the advice provided by DSW and DWF, Andrew Brown said: “Both DSW and DWF demonstrated great skill and understanding whilst advising on this transaction and ensured that we had a smooth and efficient transaction process. Martin and I have been extremely impressed throughout and would like to take this opportunity to thank all involved within our advisory team for their contribution toward a very significant milestone in the growth and success of Groveport.”