Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Freight and Passenger Ferry and Multimodal Logistics Holdings Acquired by Global Port Operator

Another Chapter in the Life of What Was One of Britain's Oldest Shipping Lines
Shipping News Feature
DUBAI – WORLDWIDE – DP World has continued its expansion into the world of shipping and logistics with confirmation that it has acquired the holding company of P&O Ferries and P&O Ferrymasters (together P&O Ferries) thus moving again away from its traditional territory of global port management.

The purchase, at a consideration of around $421 million, follows the recent takeover of short sea specialist Unifeeder, and adds a further new fleet of 21 vessels on the Short Sea, North Sea and Irish Sea sectors across 11 ports to the UAE group’s portfolio. Additionally the activities of road haulage and multimodal operator P&O Ferrymasters provides supply chain services to customers in 19 European locations.

Assuming the deal goes through, the transaction is subject to customary completion conditions, it is expected to close in the first half of 2019. P&O Ferries handles over 2.5 million freight units per year which accounts for approximately 75% of group revenues. P&O Ferries reported FY2017 revenues of $1.4 billion and EBITDA of $ 131 million. The acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive from the first full year of consolidation DP World says it expects it to meet its return targets. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World, said:

“We are pleased to announce the return of P&O Ferries back into the DP World family. P&O Ferries is a strong, recognisable brand and adds a best-in-class integrated logistics provider into our global portfolio. Importantly, P&O Ferries provides efficient European freight connectivity building on last year’s acquisition of Unifeeder.

”This transaction is in line with our strategy to grow in complementary sectors, strengthen our product offering and play a wider role in the global supply chain as a trade enabler. P&O Ferries has delivered a robust performance in recent years and we aim to drive further value through increasing efficiencies and offering value-added solutions to our customers. Overall the transaction offers compelling value strategically and financially, and we look forward to P&O Ferries contributing to driving shareholder value in the coming years.”

For DP World this is a case of completion of a long term venture as the P&O company, which operated port facilities at Southampton and Tilbury, was first purchased by the group in 2006 after a battle for control of the company with PSA Singapore. The sale of P&O at that time saw a company which dated back to 1840 as the Peninsula & Orient Steam Navigation Company, leave British ownership at a point when the RoRo ferry trade was not in a good state.