P&O Owner Eying Topaz

Mon, 1st Jul 2019

D World, the Dubai-based owner of P&O, is eying Topaz Energy and Marine, who has been considering a London IPO. The takeover is potentially worth $1.3 billion, and if successful it would put an end to the possibility of Toaz becoming its own standalone London-listed company.

At the moment, Topaz’s majority owner is Renaissance Services, who are listed in Oman. Topaz had been exploring an IPO as a separate brand last year. The company operates a fleet of around 120 OSVs, which are used to support the offshore industry. Conditions in the oil and gas sector had been challenging, which mean that the prospect of a separate listing had been dwindling. The possibility of a takeover by DP World could mean that Standard Chartered Private Equity would be stepping away from the firm. Currently, Standard Chartered owns 15% of Topaz.

Renaissance had been planning to aim for a $1.5 billion valuation if it took Topaz public. DP World is aiming to diversify its business, and the acquisition of Topaz would be a step in that direction. The company employs around 45,000 people and operates in 40 different countries, being responsible for moving 190,000 containers a day. It has published some strong financials in recent quarters, in spite of significant headwinds in the form of escalating trade tensions between the US and China. They acquired P&O more than 12 years ago, in a deal which was met with opposition in the US, as the new owner was prevented from acquiring the assets of the British company.

Topaz has sought advice from Rothschild regarding the potential deal, while DP world is receiving advice from Deutsche Bank.

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