Higher Bid for TransMontaigne

SemGroup ups its offer to $10.75 a share.
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TransMontaigne

(TMG)

, an oil and gas supply-chain company, on Friday accepted SemGroup's $10.75-a-share takeover offer, as a bidding battle with

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report

continues to drive up the price.

TransMontaigne has been at the center of bidding between privately held oil-transportation firm SemGroup and Wall Street brokerage Morgan Stanley since late March, when Morgan Stanley offered $8.50 a share for the company. A week later, SemGroup offered $9.75. TransMontaigne, a company with oil-storage tanks along the Mississippi, is viewed as an oil and real estate investment, and the value of the company has spiked as oil prices rise.

SemGroup's $10.75-per-share offer is a dollar higher than its original offer for the company. Earlier this week, TransMontaigne said that it was prepared to accept Morgan Stanley's $10.50-per-share offer, which came two weeks ago.

Morgan Stanley's interest in TransMontaigne comes after a string of Wall Street firms, including

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

and

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

, reported record earnings in the first quarter, with commodities and energy trading contributing big portions. After Morgan Stanley put forward its $10.50-per-share bid, some investors speculated that other Wall Street firms might join the fray.

TransMontaigne stock has increased almost 13%, moving above the offer price to a recent high of $11.27. It's a significant run for shares that cost $6.60 at the start of the year.

Shares in TransMontaigne were up 0.3%, or 3 cents, to $10.95 in trading Friday.