The battle to win a £2bn takeover of Britains fifth largest port, Teesside’s PD Ports, has gained the attention of numerous investors.
The site which was recently awarded a low-tax freeport status has become a target for the Duke of Northumberland’s Northumberland Estates, Legal & General, Credit Suisse joined with the Pension Insurance Corporation.
Teesport spans 4,500 acres and is the gateway for 28m tonnes of imports to the north of England each year.
The superport was one of eight freeports announced by Rishi Sunak in March in an attempt to boost post-Brexit and coronavirus recovery and aid the “levelling up” agenda.
The motion is being led by Ben Houchen, the Tees Valley Mayor and a growing member of the Conservative Party.
Houchen hopes acquisition of the port could persuade leading multinationals to set up there, by allowing integration of Teesport into the wider Teesside Freeport.
Teesport is also an attractive asset having sole authority over the River Tees and levying an unregulated charge for volumes and ships that cross the river.
It also offers simplified planning, lower customs duties, and tax breaks, including relief from business rates and the suspension of VAT.
The giant Canadian investor, Brookfield who has owned PD Ports since 2009, is luring prospective buyers with sale packs that claim the business should achieve £75m of earnings this year. As well as stating it aims to reach more than £200m of underlying earnings by 2030, partly through realising freeport benefits.
It is understood that the first round of bids is due by September 6, with the auction handled by advisers at RBC and CIBC Capital Markets and with possible international buyer interest.