In an amazing turn of events, a wave of protest has emerged in the US against the Bush administration?s approval of DP World?s ?3.88bn ($6.77bn) takeover of the P&O ports Dubai-based DP World.
The deal for P&O?s 29 ports around the world and its cross channel ferry service was approved by shareholders last week and includes six major port operations in New York and New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.
But protestors in the US are now calling for a full review of the sale to Dubai Ports World, arguing that security is at stake because the company is based in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. [For the record, the UAE is actually a declared ally in the war against terror-Ed].
Some legislators are calling on Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to provide more details on the reasons for approving the deal, since the aforementioned ports handle large volumes of sealed containers, the vast majority of which are not inspected.
Republican party member Peter King, who is also Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says he isn?t happy that DP World's hiring policies have been properly vetted to prevent terrorist infiltration.
He says that while the US Government has no say in which foreign company takes over another, he and others believe it does have a say in which companies may operate on US territory.
Caught on the sidelines of all of this is P&O?s cross channel ferry service which has also been sold alongside P&O?s ports business.
P&O Ferries generates around ?100m ($174.5m) in travel retail sales and DP World has already given an undertaking that it will run the P&O ferry division as an ongoing business concern.