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PD Port sale to go ahead despite BNB voluntary administration

TALKS surrounding a possible disposal of PD Ports in the UK will continue unaffected by the decision of Babcock & Brown Ltd in Australia to appoint voluntary administrators. PD Ports owner Babcock & Brown Infrastructure — the main operating and asset-owning entity of BNB — said that the move “has no immediate impact on the entities that manage the day to day business of the BBI group”. BBI confirmed two weeks ago that it was in talks to sell whole or part of PD Ports, its bulk and container ports business in the UK, which is in the process of funding the 1.5m teu Northern Gateway container terminal at Teesport. BBI managing director Jeff Kendrew said: “We do not expect the appointment of BNB’s administrators to have any direct effect on BBI’s asset sales process, its businesses or its operations. "Our businesses in both asset classes continue to operate as usual and our essential services infrastructure assets are performing well.” He added: “BBI’s asset sale process is continuing and will not be affected by any of the changes announced by BNB today. “BBI is in the process of appointing external advisors where appropriate, to enable a smooth transition of the sales processes.” BBI said that its proposal to “internalise management” and separate itself from BNB was continuing. BBI does not have any loan or other financing arrangements with BNB or any other companies in the BNB group. It also has separate ownership, boards, management and legal structures from those of BNB. The decision to go into voluntary administration came after investors in the company’s subordinated notes listed in New Zealand voted against the special resolution to restructure the terms of the notes.

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