On 22 February 2018, the State of Djibouti terminated the concession for the Doraleh container terminal, granted in 2006 to Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT), a company controlled de facto by the minority shareholder, DP World (33.33%). The implementation of this concession contract was severely prejudicial to the fundamental interests of the Republic of Djibouti, to the development of the country and to the control of its most strategic infrastructure asset.
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Taking into account the early termination of the concession contract, Port de Djibouti SA (PDSA), which is the majority shareholder in DCT (66,66%), terminated the shareholders agreement (joint venture) entered into with DP World on 27 July 2018.
This shareholders agreement had granted all powers to the minority shareholder and transformed the majority shareholder into a mere observer. The termination was made in the strictest compliance with Djiboutian law, which governs the joint venture and the statutes of DCT.
In practice, DCT has been operated, through the shareholders agreement, for the sole purpose of serving DP Word’s interests. DP World Group is involved in a judicial and media guerrilla warfare against the Republic of Djibouti, in an attempt to come back to Doraleh at any cost.
In a press release dated 5 September 2018, DP World stated that the High Court of England and Waleshad enforced the shareholders’ agreement and prohibited PDSA from dismissing the directors of DCT.
This decision was obtained by DP World without PDSA having been warned beforehand of the commencement of this legal procedure and without any adversarial debate taking place.
DP World’s press release does not emphasise, though, that the decision of the English Court is merely a provisional measure which is neither final nor res judicata and is therefore not conclusive.
Following the Order of the President of the Republic dated 9 September 2018, the Republic of Djibouti, has decided to nationalize with immediate effect all the shares and corporate rights of PDSA in the DCT company to protect the fundamental interests of the Nation and the legitimate interests of its partners, and to ensure that the situation of the DCT company – which is no longer in charge of the Doraleh container terminal since the contract termination – aligns with reality.
A fair compensation outcome is the only possible option for DP World, in line with the principles of international law.
Contact: 35° Nord, Press relations agency, Nicolas Teisserenc, [email protected]