- The Washington Times - Monday, December 11, 2006

1:21 p.m.

Dubai Ports World announced today it will sell its interest in operations at six U.S. ports to an American insurance giant, bowing to pressure from Congress.

The global marine terminal operator, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, said it reached an agreement to sell P&O; Ports North America to Global Investment Group, a division of American International Group Inc. Terms were not disclosed.

P&O; Ports North America operates ports in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami, Tampa and New Orleans. It also covers stevedoring operations in 16 locations along the East and Gulf coasts and a passenger terminal in New York City.

The Dubai company acquired the operations in March when it purchased Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., a British company that had owned P&O; Ports North America Inc. since 1999.

The sale spurned outrage and objections from members of Congress who worried that foreign ownership of U.S. ports, particularly from an Arab state-owned company, would compromise security. DP World then agreed to find an American buyer for its U.S. properties.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, including from various port authorities. The acquisition is expected to close during the first quarter of 2007.

“With the sale of the U.S. assets, we have concluded the process and our commitment to the American people that we began in March,” said Mohammed Sharaf, DP World chief executive officer. “Meanwhile, we continue to expand globally in response to our customers needs.”

AIG Global Investment Group managing director Christopher Lee said the AIG Global Investment Group “identified the marine terminals sector as a key element in our infrastructure investment strategy.”

AIG shares rose 43 cents to $70.79 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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