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Goldman Sachs closes in on ABP

US investment bank Goldman Sachs is close to securing the purchase of Associated British Ports (ABP) for £2.5 billion, according to reports.

Goldman Sachs has offered 810 pence per share for the ports company as part of a consortium of investors that includes investment companies from both Canada and Singapore.

ABP, one of the UK's largest ports companies with 21 ports under ownership, confirmed back in May that it had received a revised offer from the consortium after rejecting an initial offer of 730 pence per share earlier in the month.

ABP shares rose to nearly 779 pence on the London Stock Exchange last week.

This move by one of the US's largest investment banks underlines the increased interest in world ports, with an increase in global trade making the ports industry an increasingly lucrative business.

If the deal goes ahead, it will be only the latest in a string of takeovers of British port companies by foreign investors, with P&O taken over earlier this year by Dubai Ports World.