Forth Ports acquire Tilbury Container Terminal

Forth Ports Limited (“Forth Ports”), announces today (25th January 2012) that Otter Ports Holdings Ltd, owner of Forth Ports, has acquired from DP World Limited (“DP World”) and Associated British Ports Ltd (“AB Ports”) the 67% ownership of Tilbury Container Services Ltd (“TCS”) not already owned by Forth Ports in a cash transaction.

Forth Ports has been a one third shareholder in TCS since 1998 along with partners DP World and AB Ports. TCS is located on the River Thames within the Port of Tilbury, which is wholly owned by Forth Ports and is a key shipping and distribution location with unrivalled access to London and the South East of England.

TCS handled c.314,000 containers in 2011, up 2.4% from 2010 volumes. It has secured a significant trading position with the North / South reefer trades, primarily South America and South Africa and has strong links with a number of other deep sea trades. The Port of Tilbury also runs a short sea business which handled c.126,000 containers in 2011, up 7.6% from 2010 volumes. The short sea business provides regular links to Continental Europe and to other UK coastal feeder locations.

Commenting on the acquisition, Charles Hammond, Chief Executive of Forth Ports, said:

“This is an important acquisition and a major step forward in our plans to grow and develop our ports business. We believe that stronger links between our container and distribution customers will provide benefits in the supply chain for them and further underpins our portcentric strategy.

“With 100% ownership of TCS we plan to combine our existing Short Sea container terminal with TCS to create a new container business branded ‘London Container Terminal’. The combined terminal will handle close to half a million containers and makes us the third largest single container operation in the UK and one of the few UK ports servicing both deep sea and short sea customers.

“This acquisition further underlines Tilbury’s role as a distribution and transhipment hub for London.”