DP World to delist and return to private ownership

DP World to delist and return to private ownership
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, CEO of DP World

DP World is to delist from Nasdaq Dubai, with its parent company offering to acquire the 19.55% of its shares currently traded there, returning the port operator to private ownership.

The move is meant to enable the company to focus on its medium-to-long-term strategy of transforming from a global port operator to an infrastructure-led end-to-end logistics provider.

According to the operator’s group chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, returning to private ownership will free it “from the demands of the public market for short term returns which are incompatible with this industry”.

Upon successful offer acceptance, DP World will be 100% owned by Port and Free Zone World, which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dubai World.

Each DP World share will be acquired at US$16.75, representing a 29% premium on the market closing price of $13.00 on Sunday February 16.

Yuvraj Narayan, group chief financial, strategy and business officer of DP World, said: “The DP World Board has concluded that the disadvantages of maintaining a public listing outweigh the benefits.

“Delisting from Nasdaq Dubai is in the best interest of the company, enabling it to execute its medium to long-term strategy. DP World is focussed on the transformation of the Group and takes a long-term view of investment returns and value creation.

“In contrast, public markets typically hold a short-term view. As a result of this gap, the DP World strategy is not fully appreciated by the equity markets, and consequently is not reflected in the company’s share price performance.”

Over the past few years, the company has made a number of acquisitions to diversify its operations into end-to-end logistics, including Unifeeder, P&O Ferries, Continental Warehousing, and Topaz Energy & Marine.

Its strategy is to build the world’s leading logistics provider, featuring a global network of ports, economic zones, industrial parks, feeders and inland transportation.

Bin Sulayem stated: “The global ports and logistics industry has been undergoing a significant transition as a result of the consolidation of the customer base and the vertical integration of several competitors.

“DP World must be able to continue responding effectively to this rapidly changing landscape and to invest in the future.”