DP World wins P&O race

24 February 2006

Dubai-based DP World has succeeded in acquiring UK port and ferry operator P&O, following the withdrawal of Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) from the bidding. P&O's shareholders overwhelmingly approved the offer on 13 February. PSA withdrew following submission by DP World in late January of an offer of£5.20 ($9.23) a share, valuing the operator at£3,880 million ($6,890 million) and exceeding by a considerable margin PSA's bid of£3,540 million ($6,285 million) earlier in the month. 'For PSA, to pay more than this price would not be compatible with commercial business success,' said the company, announcing its withdrawal.

DP World said that it expected the process of transferring ownership, which will make the company the world's third biggest port operator, to be completed by 2 March. P&O operates 29 container terminals and has a presence in 18 countries (MEED 2:12:05). The Dubai Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation issued a $3,500 million sukuk to part-fund the acquisition in January (MEED 20:1:06).

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