DP World eyes re-entry into the US market, says CEO

Dubai ports operator on the lookout for acquisition targets in US, says Mohamed Sharaf
DP World eyes re-entry into the US market, says CEO
DP World is considered one of the more profitable assets of debt-laden Dubai World
By Shane McGinley
Mon 01 Aug 2011 03:06 PM

DP
World has not ruled out re-entering the US market and continues to look for
suitable assets to acquire, the CEO of the state-backed ports operator said.

“The
US market is something we have continuously said that at the right time we will
go back. When is the right time? I don’t know myself,” Mohamed Sharaf, the
firm's chief executive officer, told Arabian Business in a conference call.

“The
US is a market that we are watching and we will continue to watch and, if you
get the right product at the right time, certainly we will be there.”

DP
World has a troubled history with the acquisition of US assets. The Dubai-based
ports operator bought the UK-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation
Company (P&O) in March 2006, including the company’s six US port
operations.

However
the $7bn deal floundered after US politicians argued the takeover would compromise
port security. The Dubai conglomerate later volunteered to turn over the management
of the ports to US entity, and later sold the American operations to Global
Investment Group.  

DP
World, which reported an 11 percent rise in container volumes in the first half
of the year, said in July its primary focus remained on the fast-growing
emerging markets.

“We
continue to look for new opportunities within the emerging markets. At any
given time we are looking at many, many projects,” Sharaf said.

The
third-largest ports operator in the world in July bought controlling interests
in two ports based in Suriname, a state on the north-east coast of South
America.

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