DP World to spend at least $250 mln building stake in Australia unit

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Dubai’s DP World will spend at least $250 million buying back some shares in its Australian port terminals business which it sold in 2010, a company spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

DP World will buy the shares from Corsair Infrastructure Partners’ Gateway Infrastructure Investments and other investors, it said in a bourse statement.

The Dubai-government controlled company will at least double its stake to 50 percent, valuing DP World Australia at about $1 billion, the spokeswoman said.

DP World are taking management control as part of the deal which could see it end up with a majority stake, she added.

DP World sold a 75 percent stake in DP World Australia for $1.5 billion in 2010 but said it now thinks that bringing it back under its control and into its consolidated portfolio will enable it to drive the business forward.

Port terminals

DP World Australia operates port terminals in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle.

Corsair said in a statement it was selling its entire stake but that a “substantial minority investment” would be held by funds it managed. DP World would hold a majority stake, it said.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter, subject to regulatory approval, DP World said.

DP World Australia will then become a consolidated entity within the DP World Group and is expected to be earnings neutral in the first full year of ownership, it said.

DP World will finance the transaction from its existing balance sheet, the spokeswoman said.