Mergers and Acquisitions 11 Dec 2006 01:03 pm
Financial giant AIG will buy six U.S. port operations from Dubai Ports World. Earlier this year there was political furor over security concerns of an Arab company owning what many politicians felt were important infrastructure. From the The Guardian:
Senior politicians from both parties berated the president for allowing a Middle Eastern nation to take on management of American ports in the middle of the “war on terror”.
DP World is owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates, prompting some politicians to point out that two of the September 11 hijackers came from the UAE.
Polls showed that the American public opposed the deal by three to one. Democratic senator Hillary Clinton argued: “We cannot cede sovereignty over critical infrastructure like our ports. This is a job that America has to do.”
Faced with Congressional legislation in effect blocking the takeover, DP World agreed to sell.
The purchaser, AIG, is about as American as a company can get – it is among the top ten components of the Dow Jones index, has its headquarters in New York and manages $635bn of assets, largely on behalf of US insurance clients.
It is buying six cargo terminals along America’s east coast, 16 stevedoring operations and a passenger terminal for cruise ships in New York.