B.C. container terminal operator DP World opts for Nasdaq delisting

Dubai-based DP World’s West Coast operations include container cargo terminals in Vancouver and Prince Rupert

DP World invested $200 million in its initial expansion of its Fairview container terminal in Prince Rupert | submitted

The Nasdaq Dubai-listed company that operates several major B.C. port facilities is planning to return to private ownership as part of its refocused global business strategy.

Under the Nasdaq-delisting plan, DP World’s (Nasdaq Dubai:DPW) Port and Free Zone World corporate parent will acquire the 19.55% of DP World’s shares that are traded on Nasdaq Dubai.

The acquisition will give Port and Free Zone World 100% ownership of Dubai-based DP World.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, DP World’s group chairman and chief executive officer, noted in a press release that the global ports and logistics sector “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.”

Ahmed bin Sulayem added that 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.”

He said the company’s mid-to-long-term strategy is to build the world’s leading logistics provider.

DP World operates the Fairview container terminal in Prince Rupert and the Centerm container terminal in Vancouver.

In May 2019, it acquired Metro Vancouver’s Fraser Surrey Docks marine terminal from a division of Macquarie Group, an Australia-based international investment bank.

Three years earlier, DP World completed its $200 million Fairview expansion. Also in 2016, subsidiary DP World Canada Investment Inc. and Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec (CDPQ) created a $5 billion funding pool to invest in global container terminals.

CDPQ, one of North America’s largest pension fund managers, has a 45% ownership stake in DP World Canada Investment.

DP World’s terminal investments in B.C. include a $350 million project to increase Centerm’s container-handling capacity by 60%. The project began last July and is expected to be completed at the beginning of 2022.

DP World owns more than 78 marine terminals across six continents. Last year it handled 71.2 million 20-foot-equivalent units. In 2018, DP World generated profit of US$1.3 billion profit on US$5.6 billion in revenue.

Its current market cap is approximately US$12 billion.