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Ports business not for sale, says Dubai World

Dubai World has strongly denied reports that it is in discussions regarding the potential sale of its port operator, Dubai Ports World (DP World).

In a statement to the Nasdaq stock exchange, Dubai, the state-owned investment company, said its board “would like to reiterate previous statements that they have not been involved in any discussions in relation to a potential sale of a stake in the company”.

Dubai World:
ports business
not for sale

In May, reports suggested Dubai-based private equity house Abraaj Capital had entered into talks to acquire a stake of at least 15 percent in the port operator, which owns 49 operational marine terminals across more than 30 countries. Based on DP World’s share price in May, the stake could have cost around $900 million.

On May 10 Dubai World confirmed that it was “in discussions with a regional private equity player”. However, this week, the company said these discussions are no longer ongoing, adding that “there will be no further statements by DP World on this subject”.

Previous discussions regarding a partial sale were reported to be part of a strategy to reduce Dubai World’s estimated $59 billion of debt.

Yesterday DP World’s shares closed at $0.53, which was the highest price this year.