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British appeals court refuses to stop sale of US ports operating rights to Dubai firm

[JURIST] United Arab Emirates state-owned company Dubai Ports World [corporate website] Monday received the go-ahead to take over British shipping company P&O [corporate website], after the UK's Court of Appeal declined to hear an appeal [JURIST report] from Miami-based Eller & Co. [corporate website]. The three judge panel's unanimous refusal to hear an appeal affirms a lower court's holding [JURIST report] that the $6.8 billion takeover, which would put a company owned by the United Arab Emirates in control of six US ports, will not be barred by British law. Eller had argued that the takeover would harm its business. A spokesperson for P&O said the takeover is expected to become effective on March 8 [news release, PDF]. A spokesperson for Eller said that although it was disappointed by the decision and did not intend to appeal, it would continue to pursue legal action in US courts.

The proposed takeover of shipping terminals in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia immediately met stiff opposition from US politicians at the state and local levels - including a request by US Senators to overhaul the investment review process [JURIST report] that initially approved the takeover. DP World's voluntary decision to submit to an additional 45-day investigation by the US government, however, seems to have suppressed some of the protests over the deal. AP has more.

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