P&O Ferries Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: DP World has acquired the holding company of a British ports and ferries group for purchase consideration of $421 million, in the latest of a series of acquisitions aimed at strengthening the UAE-based firm’s global footprint.

Dubai’s state-owned ports operator announced on Wednesday that it is taking over the United Kingdom's P&O Ferries, which made $1.4 billion in revenues for 2017, adding that the acquisition deal is expected to close in the first half of 2019.

P&O Ferries is a UK-based transportation and logistics company that operates roll-on, roll-off ferries from Britain to Belgium, France, The Netherlands and Ireland. It serves about nine million passengers and 2.5 million freight units per year.

“We are pleased to announce the return of P&O Ferries back into the DP World family,” said Sultan Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World.

“P&O Ferries is a strong, recognisable brand and adds a best-in-class integrated logistics provider into our global portfolio. Importantly, P&O Ferries provides efficient European freight connectivity building on last year’s acquisition of Unifeeder.”

In January this year, the company acquired an additional stake in DP World Australia (Holding) from Gateway Infrastructure Investments (Gateway) and other financial investors.

The new investment makes DP World the majority shareholder in the Australian unit and sets its value at approximately $997 million.

It had also entered into an agreement to acquire 71.3 per cent stake in Latin America’s Puertos y Logistica S.A. (Pulogsa), which runs a multi-purpose terminal in San Antonio.