Bloomberg News

Mitsui to Make Offer for Singapore’s Portek to Expand Ports

July 13, 2011

(Updates with closing share price in sixth and seventh paragraphs.)

July 13 (Bloomberg) -- Mitsui & Co., Japan’s most acquisitive company, plans to offer about S$221 million ($180 million) for Portek International Ltd. to expand its logistics business in emerging economies.

The industrial, commodities and services group intends to pay S$1.40 apiece for all Portek shares, 17 percent higher than a June 22 offer of S$1.20 each made by International Container Terminal Services Inc., according to a statement to the Singapore stock exchange today. Portek’s founders agreed to sell 51.3 percent of outstanding shares, Tokyo-based Mitsui said.

Buying Portek, which operates port terminals in Indonesia and Africa, would help the Japanese group expand its cargo loading and unloading facilities business in emerging markets. Mitsui, with cash and near cash items rising to an 18-year high of 1.44 trillion yen ($18 billion) as of March 31, said it aims to increase the port operator’s efficiency.

“For Portek, being part of a larger group is better when you want to acquire ports in emerging countries,” said Goh Han Peng, an analyst at DMG & Partners Securities Pte in Singapore. “The acquisition will enable Mitsui to gain immediate access to emerging market port operations.”

Acquisition Spree

The purchase would be Mitsui’s biggest this year outside Japan after the 3.3 billion ringgit ($1.1 billion) buyout of Kuala Lumpur-based hospital operator Integrated Healthcare Holdings Ltd. completed in May. The group has spent $17.3 billion since 1999 on 200 acquisitions, the most among Japan- based companies, according to Bloomberg data.

Portek gained 6.1 percent to close at a record of S$1.40 in Singapore. The company’s officials weren’t immediately available to speak when contacted by phone.

Mitsui climbed 2.1 percent to close at 1,432 yen in Tokyo. International Container Terminal fell 0.4 percent to 53.50 pesos in Manila.

International Container Terminal is studying its options “to determine what’s best for our shareholders,” Rafael Consing, treasurer at the Manila-based company, said by phone. An International Container Terminal unit owns 16.7 percent of Portek, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. HSBC Holdings Plc is advising the Philippine company for the Portek offer.

Mitsui doesn’t own shares in Portek, according to a statement by Nomura Holdings Inc., which is advising the Japanese company on the deal.

Portek, which also makes port cranes, reported net income of S$7.26 million in the six months ended Dec. 31, 21 percent more than a year earlier. Sales climbed 4.4 percent to S$65.7 million. The company handled 392,000 20-foot containers in the July-December period, 0.5 percent more than a year earlier.

--With assistance from Kiyotaka Matsuda in Tokyo, Ian Sayson in Manila and Joyce Koh in Singapore. Editors: Dave McCombs, Nicholas Wadhams.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kyunghee Park in Singapore at kpark3@bloomberg.net; Shamim Adam in Singapore at sadam2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vipin Nair at vnair12@bloomberg.net


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