DP World confirms £3b bid for P&O

DUBAI — A senior official from Dubai Ports World (DP World) confirmed yesterday that DP World was bidding for Britain’s biggest ports and ferries group P&O, saying that the Dubai-based operator has offered the highest — £3 billion (Dh19.57 billion) — takeover approach.

By Jamila Qadir

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Published: Wed 2 Nov 2005, 10:03 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 5:13 PM

The official, who requested anonymity, also said that the outcome was expected to be positive, making DP World one of the top four largest global port operators.

A delegation of top officials from DP World led by Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation was in the UK for the past one week to negotiate the offer with the 165-year-old P&O.

Analysts say that the DP World takeover approach is to set off a bidding war for P&O with Temasek, the Singaporean state investment firm, and the Danish shipping giant AP Moeller-Maersk among other likely bidders.

P&O is said to confirm it was in contact with a suitor, but said the process was at an early stage.

Meanwhile, hopes of a bidding war propelled shares in the British ports operator to a five-year high on Monday, following the news of a possible takeover approach.

Analysts said the fiercely contested takeover battle could value P&O from three billion pounds to £3.7 billion (Dh24.15 billion) given the fact that at least two other likely bidders are waiting in the wings. According to some estimates, the container terminal market is expected to grow 11.2 per cent this year and 10.6 per cent in 2006.

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