Dubai Ports in Cuba! The saga continues...
The plans are a holdover from Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co., which DP World bought for $6.8 billion in 2006, according to Reuters. The state-owned company was forced to divest its U.S. port assets after a domestic political row about whether the DP World terminals would be a potential entry point for terrorists.
The United States currently embargoes most trade to the island nation in an effort to change the communist regime of Fidel Castro.
DP World, the world's third-largest container terminal operator, has ambitious plans to grow in other locations around the world besides Cuba. Chairman Sultan bin Sulayem publicly confirmed earlier reports that the company would sell about 20 percent of the company on the public market next month to raise at least $3.5 billion for its ventures, Bloomberg News said. DP World previously called off an initial public offering and speculation about privatizing the company has followed it for years.
Sulayem said the money would be used to repay two bonds worth $3.5 billion the company issued last summer and provide cash to the government. He said the company has completed all "major acquisitions and investments" and plans to grow by expanding its existing terminal facilities, according to Bloomberg. But a top official told Shippers' NewsWire last week that the company would not rule out a return foray into the U.S. market if conditions change.
The initial public offering is the largest in the Middle East open to all investors. Shares will be sold on the Dubai stock exchange and will help the emirate's drive to become a global financial center, Sulayem said. The Dubai exchange will be affiliated with the Nasdaq Stock Exchange after Dubai bought a stake in Nasdaq several weeks ago.
Last year, the company handled 42 million TEUs and said it plans to handle 84 million TEUs a year at ports around the world by 2016.