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DUBAI, UAE-DP World, part of government-owned Dubai World, could sell a 15% stake in the company to Abraaj Capital, a private equity firm based here. According to a report in Zawya, officials of the two companies are in talks although a formal sale proposal has not been submitted to the government.

Dubai World is hoping to dispose of a stake in its port units, which are located throughout China, the UK, Africa and the Middle East. The move is part of the company’s attempt to restructure the large amount of debt it has thanks to Nakheel, its tanking real estate arm. Best estimates show that Dubai will have $19 billion of debt coming due by the end of 2010. And Nakheel has a $3.5 billion bond maturing this year.

Best estimates on the price of the sale are saying Abraaj could pay up to $900 million.

Just last week, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services put DP World on creditwatch after word got out that Nakheel’s debt could be restructured. At the time, five other Dubai government-related companies were put on creditwatch.

Deutsche Band is acting as advisor for DP World, while Credit Suisse Group will fill that role for Abraaj.

To read the article in Zawya click here.

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