Felixstowe Dockers: Peel Ports lands Great Yarmouth docks deal

Peel Ports1 has expanded its empire by tying up a deal to purchase Great Yarmouth s docks for an estimated 50m. Privately-held Peel, which also owns Liverpool2 and Glasgow docks, is already the UK s second-largest operator of ports and the deal adds to its portfolio. Great Yarmouth is the main port servicing the southern part of the UK s North Sea oil and gas industry.

The Norfolk port also handles vessels supporting the offshore wind power generation sector, and ships carrying general and bulk cargoes such as grain. Mark Whitworth, chief executive of Peel, said: Great Yarmouth is a welcome addition to our portfolio and will complement our business by providing geographical and commercial diversification. Bringing together customers and commodities served by both businesses will present a sound base for exploring future growth opportunities.

This includes decommissioning, where Great Yarmouth s market position has the potential to further enhance Peel Ports existing strategic assets. Graeme Charnock, financial director, said that Great Yarmouth could be used to scrap gas production rigs which are concentrated in the southern part of the North Sea off the Norfolk coast, and if successful, this could act as a model for other ports in Peel’s portfolio. He added that the space in Great Yarmouth’s outer harbour meant there was room to expand the services it provided if necessary.

Last year Great Yarmouth had revenue of 10.9m and an operating profit of 4.5m. Although this is dwarfed by the 623.7m revenue and 106.4m operating profit was 6.9pc higher at Peel reported, the purchase is seen as a strategic move by experts. Peel already has 13.5pc of the UK port market, with operations including Clydeport, the Mersey Cluster, Dublin and Medway.

The company is investing heavily in expanding its operation in Liverpool to handle bigger vessels and hopes to have 17pc of the UK container market within the next decade.

References

  1. ^ Peel Ports (peelports.com)
  2. ^ Liverpool (peelports.com)

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