P&O Ferries snapped up by DP World for £322m

Dubai-based DP World has acquired ferry firm P&O in a deal with £322 million.

DP World, which also operates container ports in London and Southampton, said it will aim to drive efficiency savings at P&O once the deal is complete.

P&O operates more than 30,000 voyages a year and handles over 2.5 million freight units, which account for approximately 75% of its revenues.

The firm, which operates across Europe, booked sales of £1.1 billion in 2017 and earnings of £100 million.

It offers ferry services across eight major routes between Britain, France, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Holland and Belgium and employs almost 4,000 employees.

New Channel ferry
P&O Ferries Pride of Kent (left) and the European Seaway at The Port of Dover in Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

DP World chairman and chief executive Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said: “P&O Ferries is a strong, recognisable brand and adds a best-in-class integrated logistics provider into our global portfolio.

“Importantly, P&O Ferries provides efficient European freight connectivity building on last year’s acquisition of Unifeeder.

“This transaction is in line with our strategy to grow in complementary sectors, strengthen our product offering and play a wider role in the global supply chain as a trade enabler.

The acquisition is expected to be earnings-accretive from the first full year and is expected to close in the first half of 2019.

DP World is one of the world’s largest port operators and its 45,000 employees work across marine and inland terminals, maritime services, logistics and other ancillary units.

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