Dubai calms US security concerns

Both US Republicans and Democrats have threatened legal action to block DP World from taking over P&O’s operations in major US ports.

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By  Robeel Haq Published  March 4, 2006

Both US Republicans and Democrats have threatened legal action to block DP World from taking over P&O’s operations in major US ports, including New York, Miami and Philadelphia. DP World attempted to calm the situation by agreeing to a 45-day detailed review into the security implications of the takeover. Whilst the company will continue the deal to takeover P&O’s other global port operations, the special arrangements for the US ports would help to pacify security concerns and provide enough time to convince congress not to block the US $6.85bn deal. “We are confident the further review will confirm DP World’s acquisition of P&O’s US operations does not pose any threat to America’s safety and security,” said Ted Bilkey, COO, DP World. The White House continues to defend its decision to approve the deal. President Bush said the agreement should be allowed to go through and called on critics to explain why a Middle Eastern firm was receiving opposition, whilst the previous British company failed to evoke any protests. “It would send a terrible signal to friends and allies not to let this transaction go through,” he said. “If there was any doubt in my mind or people in my administration’s minds that our ports would be less secure or the American people in danger, this deal wouldn’t go forward.” Following the review, Congress will be provided with 30 days to block the deal if security concerns still exist. However, DP World seems confident about receiving the nod of approval. To help matters along, it has guaranteed the independence of P&O’s US terminal operations by establishing them as separate business units without any management overhauls following the eventual takeover.

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