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Dubai’s DP World Said to Near Deal for Hong Kong Tycoon’s Assets

Posted on May 20, 2024

DP World is nearing a deal to buy Cargo Services Far East Ltd. from Hong Kong tycoon John Lau, people familiar with the matter said, a move that would give the Dubai port operator a bigger footprint in Asia.

The companies are finalizing the details of a transaction that could be announced as early as in the coming days, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. A potential deal could be valued at $300 million to $400 million, depending on composition of the assets, the people said.

A representative for Cargo Services Far East declined to comment, while a representative for DP World didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Founded in 1989 by Lau, Cargo Services Far East’s businesses include ocean and freight shipping, cold chain logistics and fashion distribution, according to its website. The Hong Kong-based company has offices in China, the UK, South Africa, the US and Singapore.

Lau’s empire includes a majority stake in Hong Kong-listed CN Logistics International Ltd., which he is also chairman and executive director of. The stock has dropped 31% in the past 12 months, valuing the company at $212 million.

Bloomberg News reported in November that DP World was in talks to acquire Cargo Services Far East.

DP World was founded in 1972 as a local port operator in Dubai and has since expanded globally, counting more than 100,000 employees in about 75 countries, according to its website. Its services include freight forwarding, contract logistics, ports and terminals and marine services.

Earnings dropped to $820 million last year from $1.23 billion a year earlier, DP World said last month. Political and economic headwinds are weighing on global trade, while the Red Sea crisis also adds more uncertainty, it said in March. The Asia Pacific region and India accounted for 12% of revenue last year, according to its latest investor presentation.


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