Dubai port operator DP World to return to full state ownership

Returning to full ownership by the emirate of Dubai would free the firm from the demand for short-term returns in the public market. — AFP pic
Returning to full ownership by the emirate of Dubai would free the firm from the demand for short-term returns in the public market. — AFP pic

DUBAI, Feb 17 — Dubai port and logistics giant DP World said today it would return to full state ownership and delist from the Nasdaq Dubai, in a deal worth some US$2.7 billion (RM11.2 billion).

State-owned parent company Port and Free Zone World has offered to acquire the 19.55 per cent of DP World’s shares currently traded on the Nasdaq Dubai stock exchange, DP World said in a statement.

Returning to full ownership by the emirate of Dubai would free the firm from the demand for short-term returns in the public market.

“The global ports and logistics industry has been undergoing a significant transition,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, DP World’s chairman and CEO.

The move will “enable the company to focus on implementing our mid-to-long-term strategy to build the world’s leading logistics provider” backed by a global network including ports, economic zones, industrial parks and inland transportation, he said.

The parent company offered to buy each share of DP World for US$16.75 — a premium of around 29 per cent on the market closing price of US$13 per share yesterday, the statement said.

The new deal puts the market value of DP World, which operates some 78 ports and terminals in 40 countries, at just under US$14 billion.

DP World listed part of its equity on the Nasdaq Dubai in 2007 and made another listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2011 before withdrawing less than four years later, citing weak trading volumes. — AFP

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