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Mon 1 Aug 2011 03:06 PM

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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

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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debbie 8 years ago

i cant beleive the lack of foresight by DP World in making these announcements! Watch this play directly into the hands of racist republicans, tea party and the anti sharia lobby. If DP World does want to invest in the US, why make so much noise before investing? There are ways to quietly do it as well.

Telcoguy 8 years ago

The treatment of DP was a real disgrace, but unfortunately you may be right that this will be used on a partisan way on an even worst way.
OTOH announcing the intentions now can act as a feeler and save them time and money. If there is a strong backlash now the only cost is that of a PR announcement.

formerProfingulf 8 years ago

Telcoguy I think your theory of a floating an idea makes a certain amount of sense. I also think that it allows DP World to appear transparent in their intentions. While there is certainly is an element of my country which lacks any sort of cultural awareness, I think that this is a very different time than 2006.

Debbie, if you go back and research what happened with DP World in 2006, it wasn't the Republicans that torpedoed the deal. The Bush administration supported it and endorsed the deal. For political reasons, Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from NY, stood on the deck of the Enterprise, an aircraft carrier now a museum, to denounce the deal. He took it out of context for political reasons and appealed to public fear and lack of knowledge and understanding. Point is that regardless of who is in power it will or could be manipulated for political gain.

Abusidra 8 years ago

DP World maybe suffers from short term memory. Have they forgotten the way US played with them in 2006 and then they came back home after losing the investments and immediately increased the D/O, Port Handling, THC and all other Port charges from Dubai Customers to compensate those losses? Maybe now the loss is filled and they have surplus again for experiment at the cost of Dubai residents? Unfortunately people heading such big organisations should be careful, once bitten twice shy.