DWS and Peel Group have shortlisted bidders in the sale of a minority stake in Peel Ports as the process enters the second round, sources said.
AustralianSuper, advised by HSBC, and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) made the shortlist and are preparing to submit final offers by mid-December, a source close to the process said.
APG, which is already a minority shareholder in Peel Ports, has hired Morgan Stanley as its financial adviser for the process and submitted a non-binding offer, a source close said, although it is not known if it has been shortlisted.
Equitix submitted an initial bid but was not shortlisted, said two sources close to the deal.
APG, Peel Group and AustralianSuper did not respond to requests for comment. DWS, ADIA, Equitix, Morgan Stanley and HSBC declined to comment.
DWS owns 41.9% and Peel Group has 50.1% in Peel Ports, which owns six ports in the UK and the Manchester Ship Canal, and are selling a 12.5% stake each. The combined 25% stake is expected to sell for an equity value of about GBP 1bn.
QIC, advised by Macquarie Capital, exited the process after submitting a non-binding bid, as reported.
APG owns an 8% stake in Peel Ports which is managed by DWS.
DWS has “drag-along rights” over APG’s stake. This means that DWS can force the Dutch pension fund manager to sell a stake proportionately equal to the amount it sells, if it picks another bidder.