AustralianSuper has agreed to acquire a 25% stake in Peel Ports owned by DWS and Peel Group for an equity value of just under GBP 1bn, equivalent to a roughly 21 times EV/EBITDA multiple, two sources close said.
The parties signed the deal last Friday (24 January) after entering exclusive talks. DWS, which retains a 29.4% stake in the UK port operator, and Peel Group are each selling 12.5% stakes. Both sellers are being advised by Rothschild.
The sale price gives the whole business an enterprise value of roughly GBP 5.8bn, including debt of around GBP 1.9bn.
The sources said Peel Ports’ EBITDA for year-end 2019 was around GBP 280m, based on a roughly 9% increase on the company’s EBITDA of GBP 256.9m at 31 March 2019, the latest reported figure.
Marine Support Services, part of the business’ operational arm, does not form part of the deal with AustralianSuper, a source close said. MSS contributes around EUR 20m of EBITDA to Peel Ports.
Insiders say the sale price is similar to the price paid last year by PSP Investments for Arcus’ 62.6% stake in Forth Ports.