DP World has sold its 50 percent stake in the container terminal in Yemen’s port of Aden just four years into a 30-year management deal aimed at transforming the Red Sea facility into a regional transshipment hub.
The Dubai-based global terminal operator is reported to have received $27 million from the sale of its stake in Aden Port Development Co. to its joint venture partner state-owned Yemen Gulf of Aden Ports Corporation.
DP World’s exit from Aden had been expected as the company faced criticism from the Yemeni government over its alleged failure to complete investment projects on time.
Tensions were further strained by claims that DP World, which won the management contract in 2008, had failed to honor commitments to increase annual traffic from 500,000 20-foot equivalent units to 900,000 TEUs.
Traffic is said to have fallen to just 140,000 TEUs in 2011, reflecting political instability in Yemen and the growth of rival box hubs in the region, particularly Dubai.
DP World has rejected the claims as unfounded and misleading.
DP World also confirmed the sale of its 60 percent stake in DP World Breakbulk and AP Projects in Antwerp, whose assets are worth $61 million, to Orienta NV.
The company didn’t provide further financial details of the transaction, which it hopes to finalize before the end of the year.
“This sale forms part of our businesses here in Antwerp … and will allow us to strategically focus on our expertise in excellent container management and technical capability ...,” said Rob Harrison, Managing Director of DP World Belgium.
DP World will now focus on deep-sea container activities at its 42.5 percent-owned Antwerp Gateway Terminal, which it operates in partnership with French ocean carrier CMA CGM, Israeli line Zim, China’s Cosco Pacific and Duisport, operator of the German inland port of Duisburg.