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Ward Hadaway advises on port acquisition

LAW firm Ward Hadaway has advised Teesport owner PD Ports on its acquisition of an inland port complex.

Corporate lawyers from the Newcastle office of the Top 100 UK firm provided legal advice to port operator and owner PD Ports on its purchase of Groveport.

Groveport is a privately owned inland port complex on the River Trent, which handles a mix of bulk cargoes through its 190 acre freehold site. It has a dominant position in the UK market for imported steel long products.

Martin Hulls

Martin Hulls

Martin Hulls, Partner and Head of Corporate at Ward Hadaway, led the firm’s team advising PD Ports on the acquisition.

Support was provided by the firm’s specialist teams in pensions, property, tax and banking.

Martin said: “We are delighted to have assisted PD Ports on this successful acquisition, which builds on the success of the company’s operations along the East coast and opens up new opportunities for the business.”

Dermot Russell, Group Chief Financial Officer, said: “Ward Hadaway made a significant contribution to the assessment and completion of what was a strategically important acquisition for PD Ports.

“Their advice was incisive, consistent and commercially focussed, and allowed us to address and resolve the key issues in the transaction in an effective manner.

“Martin and his team were a pleasure to do business with.”

PD Ports’ Chief Executive Officer David Robinson said the acquisition of Groveport was “an excellent strategic fit” for the company’s existing ports businesses, which include Teesport.

Mr Robinson said: “This business has along established market position in key market sectors and a highly experienced team of people, and has a proven track record as an innovative and customer-focused ports business.

“We look forward to working closely together in the coming months, to develop a stronger and progressive operating platform in the Humber, developing new business opportunities and creating opportunities for staff to grow and develop within the current and wider asset base.”

Martin Rees, Groveport’s Managing Director, said: “The acquisition of Groveport by PD Ports is a very positive natural progression for Groveport.

“We will become the major asset within PD Ports’ Humber activities, adding to what is already a well-established operation, providing services in both the short and deep sea shipping markets.”

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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