Peel Ports Group
Peel Ports Group is the second largest port group in the UK, handling over 60 million tonnes of cargo per year and welcoming 13% of the UK’s total port traffic through its waters.
The Group has three business segments - Ports, Shipping and Marine Support Services operating from the following locations:
The Group operates a number of ports at key locations, serving a broad mix of customers and handling a range of cargoes. The quality of its operating locations and in particular their proximity to major cities (including Liverpool, Manchester, London, Glasgow and Dublin) continue to support the Group’s EBITDA performance.
Peel Ports’ business model can be considered a “value added model” where it acts as both a landlord and an operator. Revenues are underpinned by the Group’s key role as the Statutory Harbour Authority and Competent Harbour Authority for its harbours, with the right to levy pilotage and ships’ dues (including conservancy) on all vessels entering its waters and goods’ dues on all goods imported and exported through its facilities.
Core revenues are driven primarily by statutory dues and port operations relating to berthing and cargo fees. The Group has no reliance on any one revenue stream, cargo type or customer.
Peel Ports leases port estate, acting as landlord and providing tenants with ancillary port services. Importantly, the Group also proactively looks to offer additional elements of the supply chain. This assists in developing and maintaining long term profitable customer relationships.
The Group’s port operations are complemented by a shipping line division, providing short sea container services between the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe and feeder services between the UK and Ireland. Operating as BG Freight Line, based in Rotterdam, these services charter vessels on a short-term basis to meet the needs of customers.
Marine Support Services
The Group’s Marine Support Services division provides a range of marine services, including ship repair and marine engineering, to ship owners and operators.
Cammell Laird’s Birkenhead site covers 130 acres and includes four dry docks. The company specialises in military ship refits, commercial ship repairs, upgrades and conversion and shipbuilding. Cammell Laird is also active in the industrial services and energy sectors.
A&P Group is a leading engineering services and fabrication group, providing ship repair, ship conversion and marine services and specialising in the global marine and energy sectors. A&P Group operates from three sites across the UK, in the North East (Tyne and Tees) and South West (Falmouth).
Financial Review: Year Ended 31 March 2017
A summary of some of the notable milestones in the year ended 31 March 2017 is shown below:
In FY17, Peel Ports reported revenues of £644m (2016: £596m) and EBITDA of £226m (2016: £212m). The Group’s EBITDA has increased annually since 2008, including during the last general economic downturn and more latterly changes in the coal market, demonstrating its resilience in challenging times.
This growth is underpinned by strong customer ties, diversity of cargo types and management’s commitment to capital investment and improving efficiency.
In November 2016, the Group’s new deep-water container facility, Liverpool2, became operational and in March 2017, the terminal welcomed its first post-Panamax vessel, the 6,552 TEU HS Paris, which is the largest vessel ever to call at the Port of Liverpool.
Other capital expenditure in FY17 included the development of car storage facilities, the acquisition of land and the development of the former Thamesteel site at the Port of Sheerness, new straddle carriers for the Greenock Ocean Terminal in Scotland and the development of the port’s infrastructure for the provision of offshore wind farm support services at Great Yarmouth.
Capital & Funding Structure
The current shareholders of Peel Ports are Peel Group (50.1%) and Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management (“DAWM”) (49.9%).
In December 2012, the Group established its investment grade secured corporate debt programme, which was structured to enable access on a pari passu basis to bank debt, public bonds and private placement notes. The facilities were provided by an international banking syndicate and institutional investors in the US private placement market. Since December 2012, the Group has refinanced bank debt in excess of £1bn, as well as raising additional debt to support continued investment in the Group’s infrastructure.
The Group’s investment proposition is based on the following key attributes:
- Business and commodity diversity provides resilience
- Owners take a long term view of their investment in the Group
- Assets geographically aligned with population/consumption centres
- Long term relationships with blue chip clients
- Strong track record of delivery
- Significant investment in transformational projects
- Business portfolio well positioned for growth
- Agile to Brexit risks and opportunities
Peel Group is a privately owned conglomerate business with a wide range of interests from property to wind farms and hotels. Peel Ports benefits from the shareholders’ significant experience in investing and managing other key UK real estate and infrastructure assets such as the Trafford Centre and Liverpool Airport. Peel Group has a long-standing interest in the ports industry, having initially acquired The Manchester Ship Canal in 1987, Clydeport in 2003 and The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company in 2005.
Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management (“DAWM”), investing through its Pan-European Infrastructure Fund, is part of Deutsche Bank AG, with more than €2 billion of assets under management. DAWM is an experienced investor owning significant interests in core infrastructure assets in the energy, utility and transport sectors across Europe. DAWM is one of the largest asset managers in the world with more than 20 years of continuous portfolio management expertise.
The businesses operate through the following corporate structure: