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.

Oil prices fall but losses limited by Brexit deal hopes

Updated 4 min 8 sec ago

Oil prices fall but losses limited by Brexit deal hopes

  • US retail sales in September fell for the first time in seven months adding to economy fears

LONDON: Oil prices fell on Thursday as industry data showed a larger than expected increase in US inventories but losses were limited after Britain and the EU announced they had reached a deal on Brexit.

Global benchmark Brent crude was down 37 cents at $59.05 in afternoon London trade while US WTI crude was also down 37 cents, at $52.99.

US crude inventories soared by 10.5 million barrels to 432.5 million barrels in the week to Oct. 11, the American Petroleum Institute’s weekly report showed, ahead of official government stocks data.

Analysts had estimated US crude inventories rose by 2.8 million barrels last week.

“US sanctions imposed on Chinese shipping company COSCO are seriously denting demand for imported crude ... This has a profound impact on US crude oil inventories as reflected in last night’s API report,” said Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates.

“US refinery maintenance is not helping to reverse the current trend and further builds in US crude oil inventories can be expected in the next few weeks.”

The US imposed sanctions on COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) and subsidiary COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman & Ship Management for allegedly carrying Iranian oil.

Adding to concerns about the global economy — and therefore oil demand — data from the US showed retail sales in September fell for the first time in seven months. Earlier data showed a moderation in job growth and services sector activity.

Nevertheless, Brexit developments helped limit oil’s decline. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain and the EU had agreed a “great” new deal and urged lawmakers to approve it when they meet for a special session at the weekend.

Analysts have said any agreement that avoids a no-deal Brexit should boost economic growth and oil demand.

However, the Northern Irish party whose support Johnson needs to help ratify any agreement, has said that it refused to support the pact.

Hopes of a potential US-China trade deal also supported oil. The commerce ministry in Beijing said China hoped to reach a phased agreement with Washington as early as possible.

But the German government has lowered its 2020 forecast for economic growth to 1 percent from 1.5 percent, the economy ministry said. It said Germany, Europe’s largest economy, was not facing a crisis.