By Joanne Bladd
Move marks end of five-year contract; follows sale of Australian assets earlier this month
DP World, Dubai’s state-controlled ports operator, will hand over the management of marine terminal operations at Abu Dhabi’s Mina Zayed to Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT) in the new year, marking the end of its five-year contract.
ADT, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Port Company, will take over operations in January, the companies said in a statement to Nasdaq Dubai on Thursday.
“The ebitda contribution from the management agreement is not material,” the statement said. “Discussions around the operations for the new Port Khalifa have not resulted in any binding agreement.”
The new Khalifa Port is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The world’s third largest port operator earlier this month agreed a deal to sell 75 percent of its Australian operating arm to Citi Infrastructure Investors for $1.5bn in a bid to reduce net debt.
The transaction left DP World with almost $4bn of liquidity, officials said, putting the firm on track to meet short and long-term debt obligations.
“The short-term debt obligation for 2012 is only $3bn and after the closing of this transaction, we would have almost $4bn in cash,” DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem told reporters in a conference call on December 22.
“There really is enough cash to see us through that short-term debt”.
Although DP World is part of troubled conglomerate Dubai World, it was ring-fenced in early talks from the latter’s debt restructuring.
In November, Moody’s changed its outlook on the terminals giant from stable to positive, citing the solid performance and the company’s deleveraging process.
DP World is planning to list on the London Stock Exchange in the second quarter of 2011.