By Sam Bridge
Port operator says that despite Covid-19 it is well positioned to face the current challenges experienced by the industry
DP World and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), a global institutional investor, on Thursday announced the expansion of their ports and terminals investment through a new commitment of $4.5 billion.
The companies said in a statement that the new funds will increase the total size of the platform to $8.2 billion. DP World holds 55 percent share of the platform, and CDPQ the remaining 45 percent.
Despite the impacts of Covid-19 and shifts in the global supply chain landscape, the ports sector has demonstrated a fair degree of resilience, DP World said, adding that it is well positioned to face the current challenges experienced by the industry.
Since its launch in December 2016, the platform has invested in 10 port terminals globally and across various stages of the asset life cycle.
The enhanced platform will continue to target assets globally, but with an increased scope to broaden its footprint in existing geographies, as well as new regions such as Europe and Asia Pacific, the statement said.
It added that the investment platform will pursue its deployment and diversification objectives by expanding across a wider part of the integrated marine supply chain, such as logistics services linked to terminals.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO, DP World, said: “The partnership between DP World and CDPQ has been very successful, and we have benefited from each other’s expertise. The opportunity for the port and logistics industry is significant and the outlook remains positive as consumer demand triggers major shifts across the global supply chain.
"Best-in-class, well connected ports and efficient supply chains will continue to play an active role in advancing global trade and cultivating the business environments closest to their operations. Alongside CDPQ, a steadfast partner whose long-term vision we share, we look forward to working together on new investments that will connect key international trade locations worldwide."
Emmanuel Jaclot, executive vice-president and head of infrastructure at CDPQ, said: “Building on the success of the first collaboration with our strategic partner, DP World, a world-class leader in ports and marine terminals, the enhanced platform will seek investments in high-quality port and terminal infrastructure assets that will help design the future of smart trade and logistics.
"As we take the next step in our partnership, we will further diversify our geographic reach and look to seize new opportunities in a sector that, even during a uniquely challenging period, is driven by long-term fundamental trends.”
DP World is one of the world’s largest operators of marine ports and inland cargo terminals, stretching from gateways in London and Antwerp to hubs in Africa, Russia, India and the Americas. The company has been on an acquisition spree in recent years, buying assets from P&O Ferries and P&O Ferrymasters in Europe to Puertos y Logistica in Chile.
In February, Dubai said it would take DP World private after a dozen years to alleviate its debt burden and avoid a repeat of the economic crisis that forced a bailout in 2009.
As a pensions investor, the Caisse is attracted to infrastructure assets that offer steady, long-term returns. The group managed assets of C$333 billion ($255 billion) as of the end of June. At present, investments outside Canada and the US account for a third of its portfolio, according to its website.