DP World Says Will Postpone Control Of U.S. Ports

DP World said on Feb. 24 said it has agreed to delay taking control of six U.S. ports as part of its purchase of ports and ferry operator P and O, in the wake of U.S. opposition to the deal on security grounds.

But Dubai's DP World insisted that its buyout of P and O for about 5.7 billion euros (US$6.8 billion) should not be delayed beyond the agreed closing date of March 2. "DP World will segregate P and O's US operations while it engages in further consultations with the Bush Administration and as appropriate Congressional leadership and relevant port authorities to address concerns over future security arrangements at P and O's U.S. ports," DP World said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

"In practice, this will mean that DP World will not exercise control over, or otherwise influence the management of, P and O's U.S. operations pending the outcome of these further discussions."

U.S. Democratic senator Chuck Schumer had expressed concern last week, on grounds of security, about the takeover deal that gives DP World, owned by the United Arab Emirates, control of operations at six U.S. ports, including the port of New York. However U.S. President George W. Bush has backed the deal.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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