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New bid tabled for ABP

The Goldman Sachs-led consortium hoping to buy Associated British Ports (ABP), Admiral Acquisitions, has revised its bid for the ports operator, making an improved cash offer of nearly £2.8 billion.

Amid a continuing takeover battle between Admiral and the Britannia consortium led by Australia's Macquarie bank, Admiral agreed to raise their offer after been advised by ABP's board.

The new offer, equivalent of 910 pence per share, was made in response to Britannia's suggestion that it might make an offer of around 865 pence per share – trumping Admiral's earlier 840 pence offer.

Admiral appears to have the advantage of the backing of ABP's board of directors, with Goldman Sachs claiming in a statement that they intended to recommend the deal to shareholders.

However, Britannia responded by urging shareholders to take no action over the new revised offer, although it has yet to indicate whether it will make a better offer.

The deal is seen as an important one for both sets of investors, as ABP, along with other ports operators, looks likely to deliver strong returns on investment over the coming years thanks to increased global trade.