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DP World restructures Belgian operations with $61 million

Says sale part of restructure of businesses in Belgium

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DP World’s Jebel Ali port in Dubai. The ports operator, whichmakes the bulk of its money from regional operations, hasbeen selling assets in developed markets.
Gulf News

Dubai: DP World, the world’s third-largest port operator, has sold non-core operations in Belgium, the latest in a series of disposals of non-core assets in developed countries, and has quit a venture in Yemen, it said on Thursday.

In Belgium, DP sold its stake in DP World Breakbulk NV and AProjects NV, whose assets it said were worth $61 million (Dh223.99 million), to a company called Orienta NV.

DP, one of the more profitable parts of debt-laden Dubai World and which operates three terminals in Belgium, gave no other financial details.

Rob Harrison, managing director of DP World’s businesses in Belgium, said the disposal would allow DP to focus on its expertise in container terminal management and related areas.

In Yemen, the Dubai-based operator’s local unit sold its 50 per cent stake in Aden Port Development Co for $27 million (Dh99.15 million) to its joint venture partner, state-firm Yemen Gulf of Aden Ports Corp.

DP World had faced criticism from Yemeni authorities who said it had failed to carry out investment projects on time. DP, which won the contract to develop and run the port in 2008, has said the claims were unfounded and misleading.

DP World Breakbulk is a joint venture formed in 2007 and operates a general cargo terminal at the Port of Antwerp, while AProjects offers logistical services.

The ports operator, which makes the bulk of its money from regional operations, has been selling assets in developed markets, including the $1.5 billion sale of its Australian operations to private equity firm Citi Infrastructure Investors last year.

In July, DP said it was forced to hand over its 60 per cent holding in Adelaide’s container terminal to Flinders Port after the Australian firm exercised its right to buy the stake. The company also sold its 34 per cent stake in UK-based Tilbury Container Services Ltd for $75.48 million (Dh277.17 million) in January.

DP World shares were up 1.8 per cent by 0927 GMT.