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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 March 2006, 16:48 GMT
DPW to sell off all its US ports
New York port
The six major US ports involved include New York
Dubai Ports World (DPW) has confirmed it intends to sell all its US port operations to an American buyer within four to six months.

The United Arab Emirates-based firm is being forced into the sale due to strong opposition from US politicians over security firms.

DPW took over operations at six major US ports including New York when it bought UK firm P&O earlier this month.

US politicians are opposed to the key ports being in Middle Eastern hands.

'Interested parties'

In addition to significant operations at New York, DPW's 3.9bn ($6.8bn) takeover of P&O also gave it control over main facilities at New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia docks.

It also assumed ownership of lesser dockside activities at 16 other ports in the US.

All these operations are now up for sale, and DPW estimates that they are worth a combined $700m.

It added that until a sale is finalised, the US businesses will be operated independently.

'Value & deliverability'

"An expedited sale process is under way and with the cooperation of the port authorities and joint venture partners, it is expected that a sale can be agreed within four to six months," said DPW.

It said it would now be proving information about its US operations to "interested parties", but did not name any possible suitors.

DPW added that it would look at all offers based on their "value, deliverability and the continuity of management, employees and customers".

Trade experts have cautioned that the case sets a damaging precedent for other Middle Eastern firms planning to invest in the US.

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