DP World cuts debt with $1.5bn Australian port sale

DUBAI’S DP World yesterday moved to cut its debt and focus on emerging markets by selling 75 per cent of its Australian port operations for $1.5bn (£970m) to private equity firm Citi Infrastructure Investors (CII).

DP World – considered one of the more profitable units of debt-laden Dubai World – said yesterday that it will keep 25 per cent of DP World Australia and will retain earnings by continuing to manage the operations.

The ports operator, which said it had a net debt of $5.9bn, was excluded from Dubai World’s $25bn debt restructuring plan.

Creditors gave the plan final approval in October, a milestone in the Gulf emirate’s attempt to dig itself out of an estimated $115bn debt hole.

DP World chief executive Mohammed Sharaf said all the proceeds will go to reducing net debt and he had no plans to sell other assets.

DP World has been mulling options for the port since 2008.