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DP World announces go-ahead of London Gateway; plans to dual-list in UK

DP World announces go-ahead of London Gateway; plans to dual-list in UK

London: Dubai-based DP World has this week issued a number of announcements concerning its plans in the UK, coinciding with a visit by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Business Secretary Lord Mandelson to its London site, hosted by DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem and DP World ceo Mohammed Sharaf.

The moves can be seen as a concerted effort by DP World to dispel the negative publicity surrounding news of parent Dubai World's debt problems that broke in late 2009, effectively confirming that DP World is ring-fenced from the wider financial restructuring taking place within the holding group.

Firstly it was announced that London Gateway - DP World's stalled £1.5bn plan to build a deepsea container port and logistics park on the former Shell Haven site on the Thames - had been given the green light, and that £130m worth of 'essential infrastructure' work had begun.

The project, along with all other DP World developments, had been put on hold after the economic crisis broke pending a re-assessment of projected container traffic growth. No revised date was given for commencement of operations, however. It was also revealed that DP World had bought out Royal Dutch Shell's remaining stake in the project for $220m.   

Gordon Brown welcomed the 'significant foreign investment into the UK' as a 'massive vote of confidence in the UK's economic recovery and in this region'.     

DP World followed up the next day by announcing that 'after an extensive period of review with advisers, and discussion with shareholders, the board has decided to follow through with a plan first mooted in early 2009 and seek a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange'.

The company said that it would maintain its existing primary listing on Nasdaq Dubai, but that consideration to seek a secondary listing had been 'the lack of liquidity on the Nasdaq Dubai'. DP World floated in Dubai in November 2007 but since then its shares have fallen from $1.30 to the current 42.4 cents.  [08/01/10]