Dubai-based DP World has bought back the holding company of P&O Ferries for £322 million more than a decade after selling it.

The ferry firm is being acquired from DP World’s largest shareholder, the state-run Dubai World.

P&O Ferries operates a fleet of 21 vessels on the Channel, North Sea and Irish Sea across 11 ports and reported earnings of £100 million in 2017

“The acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive from the first full year of consolidation and is expected to meet DP World’s return targets,” the new owning company said.

DP World group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said: “We are pleased to announce the return of P&O Ferries back into the DP World family.

“P&O Ferries is a strong, recognisable brand and adds a best-in-class integrated logistics provider into our global portfolio.

“Importantly, P&O Ferries provides efficient European freight connectivity.

“This transaction is in line with our strategy to grow in complementary sectors, strengthen our product offering and play a wider role in the global supply chain as a trade enabler.

“P&O Ferries has delivered a robust performance in recent years and we aim to drive further value through increasing efficiencies and offering value-added solutions to our customers.

“Overall the transaction offers compelling value strategically and financially, and we look forward to P&O Ferries contributing to driving shareholder value in the coming years.”