Dubai-based DP World announced yesterday that it has agreed to purchase back P&O Ferries from the Dubai Government holding company Dubai World for $421 million (£322m). Dubai World originally acquired the ferry and logistics operator over a decade ago from DP World shortly after the latter took over the P&O ports, shipping, and logistics business.
DP World group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said: “We are pleased to announce the return of P&O Ferries back into the DP World family”
“P&O Ferries is a strong, recognisable brand and adds a best-in-class integrated logistics provider into our global portfolio.”
“P&O Ferries provides efficient European freight connectivity building on last year’s acquisition of Unifeeder.
“This transaction is in line with our strategy to grow in complementary sectors, strengthen our product offering and play a wider role in the global supply chain as a trade enabler.”
“P&O Ferries has delivered a robust performance in recent years and we aim to drive further value through increasing efficiencies and offering value-added solutions to our customers
“Overall the transaction offers compelling value strategically and financially, and we look forward to P&O Ferries contributing to driving shareholder value in the coming years.”
Dubai World is the majority shareholder in DP World, which last year acquired Denmark based container ship operator Unifeeder for $760m. Unifeeder launches a new weekly container service shuttle service between Gdynia Port and DP World London Gateway tomorrow in addition to its existing services linking five UK ports: Grangemouth, South Shields, Teesport, Immingham and Felixstowe with the important continental hub-ports (Hamburg, Rotterdam, Dunkerque, and Antwerp) and several ports in Eastern Europe. As well as the core ferry operation, the transaction also includes the P&O Ferrymasters logistics business which currently operates from 19 different locations and is a subsidiary of P&O Ferries. P&O Ferries operates a fleet of 21 vessels on the English Channel, North Sea and the Irish Sea and had revenue of £1.04bn in the year to 31 December 2017. Pre-tax profit for the period dipped from £47.8m to £40.6m however. The DP World acquisition is expected to close in the first half of this year.