The company that took P&O, one of the UK’s most famous maritime names, off London’s stock exchange through a £3.9bn takeover is aiming to return to the London market on June 1.
DP World, the container port operator that took over P&O in March 2006, said it was planning the London listing to attract a broader range of investors than it had been able to do since its November 2007 listing on Nasdaq Dubai.
The company, which raised $5bn in the Middle East’s biggest-ever IPO, has been bitterly disappointed in its share price performance since the Dubai listing. Its shares, which listed at the equivalent of $26 per share, are currently worth barely half that. It published the prospectus for the new, dual listing on Wednesday.
Yuvraj Narayan, chief financial officer, also said the London listing would give DP World a more widely accepted acquisition currency than its solely Dubai-listed shares.
DP World turned itself from being predominantly a local container terminal operator in Dubai into one of the world’s largest container terminal operators through the P&O acquisition and the $1.15bn takeover of CSX World Terminals in 2004. Both acquisitions were made for cash.
“We don’t have any reason in the foreseeable, short-term future to use it,” Mr Narayan said. “But certainly it creates an acquisition currency which is slightly more widely acceptable than the one we had prior to the London listing.”
Unusually, there will neither be an issue of new shares with the start of the secondary listing nor a sale of further shares by the existing controlling shareholder, Dubai World, the government-owned conglomerate that holds 80 per cent of the company.
“We don’t need any more capital,” Mr Narayan said. “This is essentially giving an additional platform to investors who wish to have an interest in our stock to be able to come and do so.”
DP World is heavily focused on developing container terminals in fast-growing emerging markets, where it has long been one of the most active bidders to build new container terminals or take over existing facilities through privatisations.
It has the fourth-highest throughput of the four largest container terminal operators, behind Hong Kong’s Hutchison Ports, Singapore’s PSA and APM Terminals, the ports arm of Denmark’s AP Møller-Maersk. DP World claims, however, to have a wider geographical spread than any of its rivals.
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