Dubai’s DP World in $500m deal to buy Chile port firm

Dubai’s DP World said it would offer $502 million for 100 percent equity ownership. (Reuters)
Updated 13 January 2019

Dubai’s DP World in $500m deal to buy Chile port firm

  • Pulogsa operates concession for Puerto Central in San Antonio and owns and operates Puerto Lirquen terminal
  • DP World is one of the world’s largest port operators

LONDON: The Dubai-based DP World is set to buy a 71.3 percent stake in the Chilean port services firm Puertos y Logistica, known as Pulogsa.

The move will give DP World exposure to several terminals in Chile, with Pulogsa holding a long-term concession for Puerto Central (PCE) in San Antonio, as well as owning and operating Puerto Lirquen (PLQ) terminal.

The Dubai port operator said it has entered into an agreement to acquire the stake from Minera Valparaiso and other shareholders associated with the Matte Group.

Under a tender process to acquire all outstanding shares of the business, DP World will offer $502 million in consideration for 100 percent equity ownership, according to a statement.

The acquisition will be financed from existing balance sheet resources, and is expected to close in the first half of 2019, the statement said.

Pulogsa, which is listed on the Santiago stock exchange, had net financial debt of $226 million as at Sept. 30, 2018, the statement added.

“We are delighted to extend our global footprint with a major entry into Chile, Latin America’s most developed economy, with attractive growth prospects and a dynamic business environment,” said DP World Group Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.

“These new assets will allow DP World to serve cargo owners and shipping lines at five key gateways on the west coast of South America.”

The PCE terminal, in San Antonio, is one of Chile’s largest container ports, with a capacity of over 1 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs), a standard measurement in shipping.

“PCE and PLQ are both ‘best in class’ terminals in their respective markets, with long-term operating rights, strong cargo diversification and significant capability for expansion. The overall value proposition for these terminals is compelling and the addition of capacity to our portfolio will help drive long-term value to all our stakeholders,” said Sulayem.

Germany: US calling European cars a threat is ‘frightening’

Updated 16 February 2019

Germany: US calling European cars a threat is ‘frightening’

  • ‘If these cars ... suddenly spell a threat to US national security, then that is frightening to us’

MUNICH, Germany: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday labelled as “frightening” tough US trade rhetoric planning to declare European car imports a national security threat.

“If these cars... suddenly spell a threat to US national security, then that is frightening to us,” she said.

Merkel pointed out that the biggest car plant of German luxury brand BMW was not in Bavaria but in South Carolina, from where it exports vehicles to China.

“All I can say is it would be good if we could resume proper talks with one another,” she said at the Munich Security Conference.

“Then we will find a solution.”

A US Commerce Department report has concluded that auto imports threaten national security, setting the stage for possible tariffs by the White House, two people familiar with the matter said Thursday.

The investigation, ordered by President Donald Trump in May, is “positive” with respect to the central question of whether the imports “impair” US national security, said a European auto industry source.

“It’s going to say that auto imports are a threat to national security,” said an official with another auto company.

The report, which is expected to be delivered to the White House by a Sunday deadline, has been seen as a major risk for foreign automakers.

Trump has threatened to slap 25 percent duties on European autos, especially targeting Germany, which he says has harmed the American car industry.

After receiving the report, the US president will have 90 days to decide whether to move ahead with tariffs.

Trump in July reached a trade truce with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, with the two pledging no new tariffs while the negotiations continued.

Brussels has already drawn up a list of €20 billion ($22.6 billion) in US exports for retaliatory tariffs should Washington press ahead, the commission’s Director-General for Trade Jean-Luc Demarty told the European Parliament last month.

The White House has used the national security argument — saying that undermining the American manufacturing base impairs military readiness, among other claims — to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, drawing instant retaliation from the EU, Canada, Mexico and China.

Trading partners have sometimes reacted with outrage at the suggestion their exports posed a threat to US national security.