DP World to buy-back stock at $16.75 a share

By Eudore R. Chand

DUBAI 18 February 2020: DP World’s parent company, Port and Free Zone World, has offered to acquire the 19.55 percent of DP World’s shares traded on Nasdaq Dubai, returning the company to private ownership.

The Board of Directors of Port and Free Zone World and the Independent Directors of DP World have reached agreement on a cash offer for the shares, which the Independent Directors deem to be fair and reasonable. Each DP World share will be acquired at US$16.75, representing a 29 percent premium on the market closing price of $13.00 on Sunday.

According to a statement released by the company to Wam, the move will enable DP World 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”.

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

DP World remains financially strong, with a healthy balance sheet and a consistent track record of delivering profitability. In recent years, the company has made a series of acquisitions as part of its strategy to become the world’s leading end-to-end logistics provider, including Unifeeder, P&O Ferries, Continental Warehousing, and Topaz Energy & Marine.

Best Interests

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 focused 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,” Narayan added.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DP World, said, “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.”

Private Ownership

“Returning to private ownership will free DP World from the demands of the public market for short term returns which are incompatible with this industry,” Bin Sulayem continued.

He went on to say that the new move will enable the company to focus on “implementing our mid-to-long-term strategy to build the world’s leading logistics provider, backed by our globe-spanning network of ports, economic zones, industrial parks, feeders, and inland transportation.”

“Our focus will continue to be on integrating our acquisitions with our global network of interconnected ports, logistics businesses and economic zones. DP World’s world-spanning footprint puts us in a strong position to lead the disruption of the industry creating a better future for all cargo owners through smarter trade,” the DP World Group Chairman concluded.