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Goldman Sachs seeks UK ports investment

US investment bank Goldman Sachs' consortium of investors has raised its offer in a bid to takeover the UK's largest ports company – Associated British Ports (ABP).

A revised offer of £2.5 billion was made following the rejection of a £2.2 billion bid made by the consortium, which includes the Singapore government, in March.

That offer was regarded at the time by ABP as "wholly inadequate", while the new offer is currently being considered by the company.

If the deal goes ahead, it would be only the latest of three major British port owners to be bought out by foreign investors, with an increase in world trade and a steady income of profits into the ports business attracting investors worldwide in search of a good deal.

Last year Mersey Docks & Harbour was taken over by Peel Ports in a £771 million takeover, while only last March P&O accepted a £3.9 billion bid from Dubai Ports World.

The offer is set to be some 14 times greater that ABP's entire gross earning in 2005, with an offer that equates to £8.1 per share.

At present the stock market values the company below that, at around £7.5 per share (£2.3 billion in total).