WASHINGTON – A Dubai-owned company will accept final bids within two weeks for the sale of all $700 million worth of its U.S. port operations to an American buyer, a plan forced by concerns over terrorism security.
The U.S. subsidiary for DP World, the world's third-largest ports company, disclosed its new sales timetable Monday in letters to U.S. lawmakers. It did not identify the expected bidders but said they were finalizing financial arrangements.
"Bidders have already been provided with a draft of the sales contract for their review, which will speed up the final contract negotiations," the company said in its letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press.
The company told lawmakers it expected final bids "within the next two weeks" but acknowledged that was subject to change, depending on the requirements by bidders.
Amid a political furor, DP World announced in March that it intended to "transfer fully" to an unspecified American company the U.S. port operations it acquired when it bought London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. for $6.8 billion.
Under the sale, DP World took over a U.S. subsidiary with significant operations at ports in New Jersey, New York, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia — plus lesser dockside activities at 16 other ports in this country.
DP World has said its U.S. operations are worth roughly $700 million. It said in March it expected the sale to be completed within four to six months. In its letter Monday, the company blamed delays on business disputes at two ports it did not identify but assured lawmakers those disputes were resolved.