Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen is said to be preparing a £1bn bid to take over Britain’s largest freeport in what could bring a major boost to the area.
Middlesbrough-based PD Ports owns seven UK sites, with Teesport its biggest asset. It employs more than 1,300 people across the country.
The sale of the northern port has been hamstrung due to a legal dispute over access to the site, as STDC controls much of the land surrounding it.
The mayor’s officials have applied to the High Court for a declaration that PD Ports only has one legal access route to the port — a move that could deter other potential buyers.
But the company has accused him of attempting to drive down the price of the business.