DP World buys 60% stake in Spanish port

DP World says the deal would help cement links with Spain. (REUTERS)

Global marine terminal operator DP World announced that it has signed a binding sale and purchase agreement for a 60 per cent shareholding in Contarsa Sociedad de Estiba (Contarsa), a privately owned company, which holds the exclusive concession for Tarragona container terminal in northern Spain.

The transaction has received approval from the Tarragona Port Authority and is seeking European Union regulatory clearance. The price was not disclosed.

Tarragona Port, which handles 100 per cent origin and destination cargo, is located on the Mediterranean near Barcelona serving the hinterland of northern and central Spain.

Tarragona has the potential to expand and to attract cargo seeking alternatives to nearby ports.

Following a meeting in Dubai between DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem and the King Juan Carlos of Spain, DP World accelerated their effort to expand their portfolio into Spain to serve Spanish customers and develop shipping links between Spain and DP World's port in Dubai.

Ahmed bin Sulayem said: "Tarragona is an exciting addition to DP World's global portfolio with considerable growth potential. We are looking forward to building a closer relationship with Spain to serve customers across the region as well as increasing the trade between the Middle East and southern Europe."

DP World CEO Mohammed Sharaf said: "Tarragona is well-placed to service a large market; the city has recently attracted investment from major multi-national distributors, attracted by its established infrastructure links. Operating the port in Tarragona will allow us to provide further quality services for our customers."