Slaughter and May has strengthened its corporate ties with Associated British Ports (ABP), with the firm all set to advise ABP on a possible bid by a consortium led by Goldman Sachs.
The investment bank has confirmed that it has been working on a potential bid with Canadian and Singaporean investors, that could value the British Ports group at more than £2bn.
ABP’s general counsel Andrew Garner said Slaughter and May had been appointed to the company’s panel as corporate advisers and would be asked to act if a bid presented itself.
Slaughter and May corporate financing partner Richard de Carle is the relationship partner for ABP.
ABP, the UK’s biggest ports operator, has opened its doors to a takeover bid and requested the consortium put its intentions in writing before talks can begin.
Goldman Sachs has indicated it is looking for a recommended offer. The investment bank uses a number of firms including Linklaters, Clifford Chance and Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy. Goldman Sachs declined to comment.
Another buyer thought to be interested in ABP is Hong Kong conglomerate Cheung Kong Infrstructure Holdings which is owned by Hutchison Whampoa – a lonstanding client of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
If a bid materialises, it will be the first major corporate deal ABP’s general counsel Andrew Garner has worked on since taking up the new role in October last year.