Forth Ports bids pounds 131m for Tilbury

RUSSELL HOTTEN

Directors at London's Port of Tilbury will become millionaires overnight and hundreds of dock workers will make thousands of pounds after Forth Ports yesterday announced a takeover worth pounds 131m.

Three directors will pocket at least pounds 5m each, while 1,500 employees and their families will receive an average of pounds 23,500 for their shares, issued free as part of a management buyout in 1992.

Three other Tilbury directors will make at least pounds 3.6m, while several hundred staff will also receive another pounds 51,000 by cashing in preference shares bought at the time of the port's privatisation.

The management paid pounds 32m for the trust port, and yesterday's valuation is likely to raise concerns that the Government grossly underpriced Tilbury. Last year executives at Medway Ports received multi-million-pound windfalls, and employees thousands of pounds, when Mersey Docks and Harbour Company bought the operation.

At privatisation, Tilbury's employees received 291 free shares worth pounds 1 each, while more than half the staff also bought into a special mixture of ordinary and preference shares.

Forth's offer values each Tilbury share at pounds 81.10, which means Schroder, one of the MBO's backers, will make a substantial gain on its 1.7-million shareholding.

The three directors making pounds 5m are Alan Ravenscroft, chairman; John McNab, chief executive; and Sid Beecham, finance director. They have all been at the company since leaving school, working their way up from the "shop floor".

Forth Ports is raising pounds 70.5m through a one-for-two rights issue at 490p a share to help fund the purchase of Tilbury's owner, International Transport Limited. Forth's shares closed up 35p at 625p. The company will pay pounds 121m cash, and repay pounds 10m in ITL loans.

Tilbury is the largest multi-purpose port facility in terms of volume on the River Thames, with eight kilometres of quays and 325 hectares of land.

ITL saw operating profits rise from pounds 2.2m in 1992 to pounds 8.7m last year, on turnover of pounds 40.2m. Cargo throughput in 1994 was 6.9 million tonnes.

Forth said the purchase was an opportunity to expand its business into the South-east of England and provide a better group balance between tonnages of piped and dry cargo.

"It provides us with a significant presence in the South-east, close to the main European shipping lanes and the UK's principal concentration of population," William Thomson, Forth chairman, said.

The MBO was one of only two serious bids in 1992, which the company said indicated that it was not regarded as a big money-spinning operation. "The director and employees were putting their own money at risk," an ITL spokesman said. In the past three years IT has invested about pounds 40m in new facilities at Tilbury.

Forth said it expected the acquisition to be earnings-enhancing in the first full financial year before the benefit of pounds 45m in tax losses accrued by IT.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower