DP World set for its London debut in June

DUBAI-BASED ports operator DP World said yesterday it expects to list shares on the London Stock Exchange on 1 June, as it seeks to boost its liquidity by attracting a wider range of investors than from its listing on Nasdaq Dubai almost four years ago.

DP World shareholders earlier this month approved a one-for-20 share consolidation, in a bid to boost its flagging stock price ahead of its London listing. The ports operator issued shares at $1.30 each in its near-$5bn initial public offering in 2007, but the shares have floundered since then.

The firm is one of the more profitable arms of state-owned Dubai World, which received part of a $10bn loan from Abu Dhabi and announced a restructuring in late 2009, after needing an extension on its debt maturities.

A dual listing in Dubai and London would enable some institutional investors blocked from taking stakes in non-OECD companies to invest. The London listing will also be seen as an opening up of Dubai’s traditionally closed markets. DP World’s market capitalisation is high enough to place it in the FTSE 100, yet it will not enter the blue-chip index. Rules require a foreign company listing in London to have the majority of its shares in free float to join the elite index. Only 20 per cent of DP World is publicly tradeable.

In its prospectus for listing in London, DP World also revealed its direct parent company Port & Free Zone World is considering refinancing its outstanding net debt facilities.

MEET THE ADVISERS: CLIFFORD CHANCE

IAIN HUNTER

CLIFFORD CHANCE

IAIN Hunter leads the legal team advising DP World on its London listing.

Hunter has been a partner at Clifford Chance since 2000, and also advised DP World on its landmark IPO on Nasdaq Dubai in 2007.

He advised AZ Electronics on its $900m IPO and the banks involved in the restructuring, London listing and cash placing of life fund business Phoenix Group.

Hunter represents corporate and investment banking clients on a wide range of corporate finance and public markets facing transactions.

Deutsche Bank and Citigroup acted as joint sponsors on DP World’s London listing. HSBC acted as financial adviser.

Iain Macleod, managing director in the UK coverage team at Deutsche advised DP World on its London listing. He also advised the firm on its approach for P&O.