20060224

Red blogule to the DP World - P&O deal's Architects and winners

When Karl Rove claims total transparency and George W Bush puts his veto in the balance, something pretty vital for the Bush Administration must be under way.
We're just talking about a takeover of the P&O Group (The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company), which happens to operate all major US ports on the East Coast, New Orleans, Florida and Texas included. Some are worrying because national security is at stake and the new owner, DP World (Dubai Ports World), is wholly owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates.

As far as I'm concerned, I'm sure DP World will do as good a job as P&O - if not better. The issue lies elsewhere and quite a few questions burn my lips :
. why are the Bush Administration so eager to push the takeover, defend DP World and take as many risks in an election year ?
. what can they get in exchange for DP World's new entry points, and not only in North America (ie Asia - including Russia, India, Indonesia and China -, France, the UK, not to mention P&O Estates' 25 million ft² of property in Western countries and Australasia ?
. what role did Dave Sanborn play during his one year of service at DP World (as a Director of Operations for Europe and Latin America) to deserve a nomination by Dubya himself as MarAd (Maritime Administrator - under Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta) ?
. why was the recent replacement of Russ Peters by Helen Deeble as P&O's CEO announced by, among all the company's top guns, Sir John Parker* ?
. what promises were made by Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World and so much respected by the Haves More of the world (also Chairman of Nakheel, the owner of The Palm and The World luxury resorts) ?
. why did DP World overpay so quickly and overwhelmingly for P&O, far beyond what PSA could ever consider realistic (this Singapore-based competitor also coveted the UK operator and immediately gave up), and to the point they even had to admit by themselves the price was excessive ?
. ...
Looks like DP World's takeover of P&O was not only accepted by, but made possible by the Bush Administration. If not how, time will tell why.


* An advisor to the Defense Academy and a President of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, Sir John has been cruising in the naval circles for ages (Carnival Corporation, National Grid Transco, P&O...), claims a few prestigious memberships or chairmanships (Court of the Bank of England, General Committee of Lloyds Register of Shipping, Lloyds Technical Committee...), but also seems to know quite a lot about lobbying in the US :
- Brambles Industries plc (support services for heavy industries),
- Babcock International Group plc (technical services and engineering, aerospace and defense, a major contractor in Afghanistan and Iraq),
- Chairman of the RMC Group plc (alias Cemex, the leader of concrete in the US)...

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