DP World seeks London listing

DP World seeks London listing

DP World, the Dubai-based owner of P&O Ports, is to seek a floatation on the London Stock Exchange on June 1.

The listing will give investors an opportunity to own a stake in the P&O-owner, which was de-listed from the London market after its take-over five years ago.

The £6.8bn Dubai-based ports operator paid £3.9billion for the British shipping company in March 2006.

The company then raised $5bn in the Middle East’s biggest-ever IPO on the Dubai Nasdaq at the end of 2007.  However its shares have had a lacklustre performance, and are currently worth only half their flotation price.

The London listing is expected to draw in significant new interest.

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DP World has been eyeing a listing in London for several years but shelved plans last year due to technical obstacles between rival exchanges in Dubai. But the hurdles have now been cleared for a dual listing in London and the Dubai Nasdaq.

Mohammed Sharaf, chief executive, said: “We have come a long way since we bought P&O – and even then, we were the larger business.”

DP World’s assets include P&O’s stakes in Tilbury and Southampton container terminals, as well as Jebel Ali in Dubai. Overall it owns interests in 49 terminals.

DP World is also enjoying buoyant volumes, up 12 percent in the first quarter of 2011. Last year it recorded a $504m profits pre-tax on $3.19bn sales. It is also involved in the construction of the £1.5bn Thames Gateway port.

Sharaf said DP World also considered a second listing in New York, Singapore and Hong Kong before going for London.

He told The Telegraph: “The idea was to give investors an additional platform. London won because of the time zone and the fact that most emerging market funds are based here.”