DUBAI (AFP) – Dubai port operator DP World announced on Sunday that it will sell around 20 percent of its shares in an initial public offering (IPO) starting on November 4.
DP World, one of the world’s largest container-port operators, declined to declare the value of the IPO, saying only that an indicative price range will be announced shortly before the offering is launched.
Shares will remain on sale until November 15, while a minimum value for a single underwriting was set at 6,000 dollars, the company said at a news conference.
The offered shares of the Dubai government-controlled company will be listed by the end of November on the two-year-old Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX), it said.
“We are delighted it will be the first home-grown Dubai company to be listed on the DIFX,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai World and its subsidiary DP World.
Earlier reports had suggested that DP World, which manages 42 terminals in five continents, was seeking to raise around four billion dollars by selling shares to the public.
The largest public offer in the region so far was when Saudi Telecom raised more than four billion dollars in its first-ever IPO in 2003.
DP World previously raised 3.5 billion dollars through the issuing of convertible Islamic bonds in January 2006 with a January 2008 maturity date.
A company statement said on Sunday its revenue in 2006 was 2.1 billion dollars, excluding revenues attributable to joint ventures and associates, and that in the first half of 2007 revenue was 1.2 billion dollars.
It also said that DP World is now the fourth largest marine terminal operator in the world in terms of capacity and throughput.
At the end of 2006 it had a gross capacity of 48.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), with a gross throughput of 36.8 million TEU last year.
The company became a top global port operator when it acquired Britain’s Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co (P&O) in 2006 in a 6.9-billion-dollar deal.
But the Dubai-owned company had to relinquish the US part of the P&O acquisition following fierce congressional opposition to the deal on security grounds and despite having the support of President George W. Bush.
In June, DP World said it had been awarded a concession to develop and operate the existing container terminal in the Senegalese capital Dakar and invest in a new terminal there, in a deal worth more than 134 million dollars.