UK High Court blocks Djibouti bid to terminate box terminal JV with DP World
The High Court of England & Wales has placed an injunction on Port de Djibouti’s (PDSA) attempts to terminate its joint-venture with DP World.
The ruling follows the London Court of International Arbitration’s ruling in favour of DP World after Djibouti’s government seized control of the Doraleh Container Terminal.
Under this latest court order, PDSA has been prohibited from removing DP World-appointed directors of the DCT joint-venture.
The ruling said: “PDSA is [also] not to interfere with management of DCT until further [court] orders or resolution of the dispute by a London-seated arbitration tribunal.
“If it seeks to replace DP World-nominated directors on 9 September, it may be in contempt of court and face a fine, seizure of assets and its officers and directors may be imprisoned.”
The reference to “9 September” is that PDSA called an extraordinary shareholders meeting for that date with the intention of replacing the DP World-nominated directors.
The ruling “makes clear” that PDSA cannot act as if the joint-venture has been terminated or appoint or remove directors without consent.
DP World has also reportedly requested Standard Chartered Bank to reject any instructions it may receive following the 9 September meeting.
The three-berth Doraleh facility has a quay length of 1,050 metres, an annual handling capacity of 1.2m teu and is the country’s largest single employer. The government holds a 67% stake and DP World 33%, while China Merchant has also recently acquired a 23% stake in the wider Djibouti port at a cost of $185m.