AIG buys DPW’s port management contracts

Published 14 December 2006

Earlier in the year a firestorm broke out when it was disclosed that the Bush administration had approved a deal in which a UAE-based company would acquire the management of major U.S. seaports from a U.K-based company; after a month of heated debate, major portions of the deal were restructured to minimize DPW’s access to more sensitive areas at the ports; now, AIG has acquired DPW contracts, and critics of the original deal are happy; DPW is also happy: It was hoping to realize about $700 million on the deal, but sources close to the negotiations say that the final price tag would be “comfortably” above the $1 billion mark

How do you spell “relief”? We know one thing: In New Jersey they do not spell it “Dubai Ports World.” This is why, across the Garden States, there is an audible sigh of relief at the news that the UAE-based company, which was at the center of controversy at the beginning of the year, has sold its control over the port of Newark — and five other U.S. seaports — the insurance firm AIG. New Jersey politicians said the move would place security back in American hands. In statements earlier this week, Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, and Governor Jon Corzine, said President Bush was wrong to approve the sale earlier this year of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation’s six U.S. port operations to DP World.

The price tag for the port operations was not disclosed, but AP reported that DPW as hoping to realize about $700 million. The Financial Times said AIG was likely to pay more than $1 billion for DPW management rights