New future for Fleetwood and Silloth ports with Fox Group deal

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Paul Fox, CEO of Fox Group and Bryan Davies, Divisional Port Manager for North West England and Scotland, Associated British Ports

Associated British Ports (ABP) today announces it has reached an agreement with Fox Group (Fox) for the acquisition of its ports in Fleetwood and Silloth, subject to regulatory approvals. The acquisition provides a new, positive chapter for both ports, their users and the surrounding communities. For both ABP and Fox it represents a significant development in both companies’ strengthening of their respective business strategies.

Fox Jackson Ports, established for the acquisition, is part of Fox Group, a fourth-generation, family-owned and northwest headquartered construction services, logistics and property group. It is acquiring the two ports in order to continue its sustainable growth trajectory, and specifically to support the movement of more of its aggregates via sea.

The ports of Fleetwood and Silloth have played a crucial role in the region for a number of years and Fox ownership will bring new opportunities for growth and investment, delivering wider benefits for the region.

Having recently celebrated the first anniversary of Fox Maritime, the Group’s stevedoring operations and shipping agency, based out of Lancaster’s Glasson Dock, they are further expanding their services as well as continuing on their journey of carbon reduction.

Paul Fox, CEO of Fox Group and Andrew Duckett, CEO of JA Jacksons said:

“The acquisition of the ports of Fleetwood and Silloth aligns with our long-term vision for sustainable growth as a company and develops our long established and extensive property portfolio”

“We look forward to working closely with local communities, businesses and stakeholders to ensure the continued success and development of these vital ports and the economic development of the Northwest.”

Julian Walker, Chief Commercial Officer and Regional Director, Wales and Short Sea Ports for ABP said:

“ABP is committed to securing the best long-term future for the ports in its portfolio. The strong vision that the Fox Group has for the ports of Fleetwood and Silloth, building on the group’s long established local links and presence, offers a bright future for both ports.

“ABP has a number of exciting projects across our remaining ports in the northwest of England and south west Scotland and today’s announced deal allows us to focus resources on further maximising these opportunities.”

The Fox vision at this point is to continue to operate both Fleetwood and Silloth as working ports, handling cargo and providing a strong offering to other maritime customers such as marina users. Fox will also look at other value adding opportunities to develop the ports from this core proposition. The deal is focused on growth.

ABP is committed to working with Fox to support the long term employment of our employees at Fleetwood and Silloth and will ensure all legislative processes are followed. Both ABP and Fox will be engaging with staff at both locations throughout the acquisition process to assist understanding of impacts on them.

The completion of the acquisition is subject to regulatory clearances, such as the transfer of the appropriate Harbour Authority authorisations, and customary closing conditions. Both companies are committed to a smooth transition and will work collaboratively to ensure uninterrupted operations and customer service during this process.

Fox Group have set up a dedicated website and social media channels for interested parties to learn more about the Group, their vision for the two ports and to view updates.