Port operator DP World buys US logistics firm in $1.2 billion deal

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — One of the world’s largest port operators, DP World, said today it has acquired an American logistics firm in a $1.2 billion deal, the latest investment as the maritime company pushes to expand farther afield.

Dubai-based DP World said its purchase of global logistics provider Syncreon Holdings is expected to close later this year. The company plans to fund the acquisition from existing resources so as not to take on more debt.

The move comes after the port operator posted a 29% drop in 2020 profits as the coronavirus pandemic froze global supply chains and upended trade flows. The company delisted from the stock exchange and returned to full state-ownership last year.

Syncreon operates supply chains for the automotive and technology industries, managing warehouses and fulfillment centers for packing, shipping and delivering across 19 countries.

DP World now operates in 61 countries along some of the world’s busiest shipping routes, from Brisbane, Australia, in the East to Prince Rupert, Canada, in the West. The company has aggressively extended its reach up the Horn of Africa, positioning the United Arab Emirates as one of the main foreign players crowding into the strategic Red Sea.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, DP World has done brisk business in recent months, striking a range of deals to grow its footprint as a vast logistics company.