Dubai’s state-owned DP World said on Thursday it had sold a 19 percent stake in Somaliland’s Port of Berbera to the government of Ethiopia.
The port operator said it would retain a 51 percent stake in the port and that Somaliland would retain 30 percent.
Financial details were not disclosed but the statement said the Ethiopian government would invest to develop the Berbera Corridor, a road from the border with Ethiopia to Berbera.
“Having the government of Ethiopia as a partner will enable DP World to support the government in achieving its impressive development plans,” said DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.
One of the world’s biggest port operators, DP World took a 65 percent stake in the port as part of a joint venture with the government of Somaliland under a 30-year concession award won in 2016.
DP World said at the time that the joint venture would invest up to $442 million to develop the port.
Somaliland’s small port exports camels to the Middle East and imports food and other items.
It also provides some transport links for neighboring Ethiopia, a landlocked country that has friendly relations with the breakaway region.
Thursday’s deal with Ethiopia comes a week after neighboring Djibouti ended its contract with DP World to run its Doraleh Container Terminal. The port operator has called the move an illegal seizure.
Reporting by Alexander Cornwell