In March, 2015, DP World Limited (“DP World”) successfully completed its acquisition of Economic Zones World FZE (“EZW”) from Port and Free Zones World FZE (“PFZW”) for a total cash consideration of $2.6 billion (subject to certain adjustments), in addition to the assumption of net debt ($859 million as of June 30, 2014). Moelis & Company served as financial advisor to DP World and led all aspects of the transaction from inception to closing.
This transaction was consistent with DP World’s strategy of providing port-centric integrated logistics solutions at key gateway locations. DP World is one of the leading marine terminal operators in the world and the Jebel Ali port is its flagship port in the Middle East. EZW’s primary business unit, the Jebel Ali Free Zone FZE (“JAFZ”), is a 57 square kilometer modern commercial and industrial logistics park that is located adjacent to Jebel Ali port and serves as an integral component of the supply chain for DP World’s customers at Jebel Ali port.
Moelis & Company designed a tailored due diligence and negotiations process for DP World, in order to maintain confidentiality and limit press leaks. As the acquisition constituted a Related Party and Class 1 transaction for the purposes of UK Listing Rules, Moelis & Company conducted a comprehensive evaluation of EZW to develop a view on valuation, draft a shareholder circular and obtain the support of DP World’s independent directors. Moelis & Company was also intimately engaged in key negotiations with the seller and was instrumental in achieving a successful outcome for its client.
DP World’s acquisition was the largest M&A deal involving a Middle Eastern target in 2014-2015 and had compelling strategic, operational and financial benefits for DP World. It created the leading port and free zone in the Middle East, enhanced DP World’s competitive advantage by strengthening Jebel Ali port’s integrated product offering and provided an opportunity to control and improve investment levels at JAFZ. The acquisition was also expected to enhance earnings by more than 15 percent and generate greater than a 7 percent return on capital employed in the first full financial year following completion.