Bakers and Norton Rose navigate DP World’s first Egyptian buyout

Baker & McKenzie and Norton Rose have steered through the first Egyptian investment by Dubai ports operator DP World, which has taken control of the Sokhna Port Development Company.

DP World, which last year took over UK ports company P&O under advice from Linklaters, this time turned to Norton Rose’s Dubai managing partner Campbell Steedman, supported by associates Darran McGlinchey and Helen Perrin.

Bakers fielded a team from London and Cairo to advise Orascom Construction Industries and Amiral Holdings on the $670m (£337.47m) sale. Amiral will retain a 10 per cent stake in the company. DP World plans to spend $1.3bn (£654.79m) expanding the port in the next three years.

The Bakers team was led by partners Michael Herington in London and Mohammad Talaat in Cairo, and included London associates David Allen and Sarah Whitton and Cairo associate Tamer El Hennawy.

Herington said: “The selling shareholders entered a joint venture to develop this port back in about 1999. They took a 25-year concession from the Egyptian government to build, operate and transfer that port. They felt it was now a non-core asset and that it was time for someone who could bring more to it to come on board.”

Steedman said Norton Rose won the instruction after an informal tender process, adding that the firm had been involved in work with P&O in the past.

He added the team worked closely with DP World’s in-house function, particularly Ian Le Pelley and Olivier Schwartz.

Clifford Chance advised when DP World listed on the Dubai Stock Exchange last year.