British Firm Sheds U.S. Assets

AMPORTS Inc., one of the largest portside vehicle processing operators in the U.S. was sold to the private equity firm Lincolnshire Equity Fund III for $107.8 million. The sale covers all of the U.S. operations of the Associated British Ports Holdings, parent of AMPORTS.

The company operates facilities at the ports of Jacksonville, Florida; Bruswick, Georgia; Benicia, California and Baltimore, Maryland.

Earlier in the year, another British sale of U.S. assets set off a tidal wave of criticism for the Bush Administration. That deal involved the P&O Ports sale to Dubai Ports World (DP World). P&O Ports’ U.S. terminal operations were the subject of concern by the U.S. Congress until DP World agreed to sell those operations. No announcement has yet been made on who might acquire those port operations.

In separate news out of Britain, airport operator BAA was the target of a takeover bid by Spain’s Grupo Ferrovial. BAA is fighting the £8.75 billion ($16.3 billion) bid on grounds it is too low. BAA has operations at four U.S. airports.

Under a 10-year contract signed in 1995 and extended in 1998, BAA has full operating responsibility for the six airports owned by the Indianapolis Airport Authority. This includes fire and police, housekeeping, parking, retail, food and beverage concessions, airport information, environment, expansion planning and other services.

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