The world economic crisis is likely to force US ports to open up investment to foreign groups and DP World might consider this a timely opportunity, said a senior DP World official.
Dave Sanborn, Senior Vice-President and Managing Director for the Americas at DP World, said independent operators, such as the former Maher Terminals, operator of port terminal facilities at Port Elizabeth, New Jersey, and Port of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, which was bought last year by RREEF Infrastructure, part of Deutsche Bank’s Deutsche Asset Management, could be up for sale soon. Sanborn added that the investment fund that bought the terminals was reeling from the credit crisis. “There are rumors that repeat sales may be on the cards. Some of these highly leveraged deals are reportedly in trouble, and others appear to have pulled back sharply from major investments,” he said. Sanborn cited Hutchison Port Holdings and PSA International of Singapore as two of the interested parties, but did not rule out his own firm. Sanborn also highlighted the fallout from restricted finance.