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Lawsuits bid to halt takeover of US ports by Arab company

White House

By Ted Bridis, Washington
TWO lawsuits have been filed in a bid to stop the $6.8 billion (€5.7bn) takeover of significant operations at six major US ports by an Arab company.

The lawsuits were filed yesterday in New Jersey and London.

The owner of Port Newark filed a lawsuit in New Jersey to block the sale, citing security concerns. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the deal violates a 30-year lease signed with the authority in 2000.

The lawsuit asked a judge to block the sale on the grounds the deal required the authority's consent.

In England, a US company at the Port of Miami, Eller & Company Inc, filed a court petition also seeking to block the sale.

Eller asked the High Court in London, which must approve Dubai Ports World's purchase of London-based P&O, to stop the takeover. Eller has filed a similar lawsuit in Florida.

The White House had earlier praised the offer by the United Arab Emirates company to postpone indefinitely the takeover.

The delay may give US President George W Bush time to convince lawmakers the deal poses no increased risks from terrorism.

The White House said it still supports the agreement and said that Bush will continue to oppose any effort by lawmakers to block it.

The company's surprise concession, offered late on Thursday, cools the standoff building between the Congress and the president over his administration's previous approval of the deal.

As part of its new offer, Dubai Ports World said it would agree not to exercise control or influence management over US ports pending further discussions with the administration and Congress. It did not say how long it would wait for these discussions to be finished.

The announcement effectively leaves existing American and British executives in charge of the company's seaport operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.

In Washington, Republican Peter King of New York, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and a critic of the deal, described the offer to postpone the takeover of operations at US ports as "definitely a positive step".

A senior Dubai Ports executive, Edward Bilkey, said the company will otherwise move forward with its purchase of P&O. Although Dubai agreed to temporarily segregate the company's US operations, Mr Bilkey expressed bewilderment over the security concerns expressed in Congress.

"We need to understand the concerns of the people in the US who are worried about this transaction and make sure they are addressed to the benefit of all parties."

But Senator Robert Menendez said the company's offer "isn't worth the paper on which it is written".

"If the Bush administration will not stop this deal from closing, Congress must," he said.

 

Lawsuits bid to halt takeover of US ports by Arab company

White House

By Ted Bridis, Washington
TWO lawsuits have been filed in a bid to stop the $6.8 billion (€5.7bn) takeover of significant operations at six major US ports by an Arab company.

The lawsuits were filed yesterday in New Jersey and London.

The owner of Port Newark filed a lawsuit in New Jersey to block the sale, citing security concerns. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the deal violates a 30-year lease signed with the authority in 2000.

The lawsuit asked a judge to block the sale on the grounds the deal required the authority's consent.

In England, a US company at the Port of Miami, Eller & Company Inc, filed a court petition also seeking to block the sale.

Eller asked the High Court in London, which must approve Dubai Ports World's purchase of London-based P&O, to stop the takeover. Eller has filed a similar lawsuit in Florida.

The White House had earlier praised the offer by the United Arab Emirates company to postpone indefinitely the takeover.

The delay may give US President George W Bush time to convince lawmakers the deal poses no increased risks from terrorism.

The White House said it still supports the agreement and said that Bush will continue to oppose any effort by lawmakers to block it.

The company's surprise concession, offered late on Thursday, cools the standoff building between the Congress and the president over his administration's previous approval of the deal.

As part of its new offer, Dubai Ports World said it would agree not to exercise control or influence management over US ports pending further discussions with the administration and Congress. It did not say how long it would wait for these discussions to be finished.

The announcement effectively leaves existing American and British executives in charge of the company's seaport operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.

In Washington, Republican Peter King of New York, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and a critic of the deal, described the offer to postpone the takeover of operations at US ports as "definitely a positive step".

A senior Dubai Ports executive, Edward Bilkey, said the company will otherwise move forward with its purchase of P&O. Although Dubai agreed to temporarily segregate the company's US operations, Mr Bilkey expressed bewilderment over the security concerns expressed in Congress.

"We need to understand the concerns of the people in the US who are worried about this transaction and make sure they are addressed to the benefit of all parties."

But Senator Robert Menendez said the company's offer "isn't worth the paper on which it is written".

"If the Bush administration will not stop this deal from closing, Congress must," he said.

 

Lawsuits bid to halt takeover of US ports by Arab company

White House

By Ted Bridis, Washington
TWO lawsuits have been filed in a bid to stop the $6.8 billion (€5.7bn) takeover of significant operations at six major US ports by an Arab company.

The lawsuits were filed yesterday in New Jersey and London.

The owner of Port Newark filed a lawsuit in New Jersey to block the sale, citing security concerns. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the deal violates a 30-year lease signed with the authority in 2000.

The lawsuit asked a judge to block the sale on the grounds the deal required the authority's consent.

In England, a US company at the Port of Miami, Eller & Company Inc, filed a court petition also seeking to block the sale.

Eller asked the High Court in London, which must approve Dubai Ports World's purchase of London-based P&O, to stop the takeover. Eller has filed a similar lawsuit in Florida.

The White House had earlier praised the offer by the United Arab Emirates company to postpone indefinitely the takeover.

The delay may give US President George W Bush time to convince lawmakers the deal poses no increased risks from terrorism.

The White House said it still supports the agreement and said that Bush will continue to oppose any effort by lawmakers to block it.

The company's surprise concession, offered late on Thursday, cools the standoff building between the Congress and the president over his administration's previous approval of the deal.

As part of its new offer, Dubai Ports World said it would agree not to exercise control or influence management over US ports pending further discussions with the administration and Congress. It did not say how long it would wait for these discussions to be finished.

The announcement effectively leaves existing American and British executives in charge of the company's seaport operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.

In Washington, Republican Peter King of New York, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and a critic of the deal, described the offer to postpone the takeover of operations at US ports as "definitely a positive step".

A senior Dubai Ports executive, Edward Bilkey, said the company will otherwise move forward with its purchase of P&O. Although Dubai agreed to temporarily segregate the company's US operations, Mr Bilkey expressed bewilderment over the security concerns expressed in Congress.

"We need to understand the concerns of the people in the US who are worried about this transaction and make sure they are addressed to the benefit of all parties."

But Senator Robert Menendez said the company's offer "isn't worth the paper on which it is written".

"If the Bush administration will not stop this deal from closing, Congress must," he said.

 

Lawsuits bid to halt takeover of US ports by Arab company

White House

By Ted Bridis, Washington
TWO lawsuits have been filed in a bid to stop the $6.8 billion (€5.7bn) takeover of significant operations at six major US ports by an Arab company.

The lawsuits were filed yesterday in New Jersey and London.

The owner of Port Newark filed a lawsuit in New Jersey to block the sale, citing security concerns. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the deal violates a 30-year lease signed with the authority in 2000.

The lawsuit asked a judge to block the sale on the grounds the deal required the authority's consent.

In England, a US company at the Port of Miami, Eller & Company Inc, filed a court petition also seeking to block the sale.

Eller asked the High Court in London, which must approve Dubai Ports World's purchase of London-based P&O, to stop the takeover. Eller has filed a similar lawsuit in Florida.

The White House had earlier praised the offer by the United Arab Emirates company to postpone indefinitely the takeover.

The delay may give US President George W Bush time to convince lawmakers the deal poses no increased risks from terrorism.

The White House said it still supports the agreement and said that Bush will continue to oppose any effort by lawmakers to block it.

The company's surprise concession, offered late on Thursday, cools the standoff building between the Congress and the president over his administration's previous approval of the deal.

As part of its new offer, Dubai Ports World said it would agree not to exercise control or influence management over US ports pending further discussions with the administration and Congress. It did not say how long it would wait for these discussions to be finished.

The announcement effectively leaves existing American and British executives in charge of the company's seaport operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.

In Washington, Republican Peter King of New York, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and a critic of the deal, described the offer to postpone the takeover of operations at US ports as "definitely a positive step".

A senior Dubai Ports executive, Edward Bilkey, said the company will otherwise move forward with its purchase of P&O. Although Dubai agreed to temporarily segregate the company's US operations, Mr Bilkey expressed bewilderment over the security concerns expressed in Congress.

"We need to understand the concerns of the people in the US who are worried about this transaction and make sure they are addressed to the benefit of all parties."

But Senator Robert Menendez said the company's offer "isn't worth the paper on which it is written".

"If the Bush administration will not stop this deal from closing, Congress must," he said.