December 11, 2006
DP World finds buyer for U.S. operations
The Dubai Ports debacle looks to have reached a conclusion.
On December 10, 2006, a member company of AIG Global Investment Group entered into an agreement in Dubai to purchase P&O Ports North America (POPNA) from P&O Holdings, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of global marine terminal operator, DP World for an undisclosed price. There have been reports that DP World's asking price had been $700 million.
When the sale closes, radio talk show hosts and others who have been worried about "Arab control of America's ports" may be able to sleep a little easier--except that they have long since discovered other things to get steamed up about.
POPNA's operations principally comprise marine terminal concessions in the ports of New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami, Tampa and New Orleans, coupled with stevedoring operations in 16 locations along the East and Gulf Coasts and a passenger terminal in New York City.
AIG Global Investment Group Managing Director, Christopher Lee, stated, "AIG Global Investment Group and its affiliates have been leaders in acquiring strategic, regulated infrastructure businesses and assets. We have identified the marine terminals sector as a key element in our infrastructure investment strategy, and we believe that POPNA is one of the leading operators in this sector in the United States."
Mohammed Sharaf, DP World Chief Executive Officer, said, "With the sale of the U.S. assets, we have concluded the process and our commitment to the American people that we began in March, 2006. Meanwhile, we continue to expand globally in response to our customers' needs."
POPNA Chairman Michael Seymour stated, "AIG Global Investment Group is a strong and active owner and we welcome them as POPNA's new shareholder. I am confident POPNA's management and employees will continue their dedication to our customers and partners."
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, including from various port authorities including in New York/New Jersey, and certain other customary conditions. It is expected to close during the first quarter of 2007.