The world’s largest port operator DP World is in the ‘advanced’ stages of discussions to acquire Topaz Energy & Marine, marking its first venture into the oil and gas sector. 

DP World said in a statement to Nasdaq Dubai, “While negotiations are ongoing, there can be no certainty of a transaction.”  However, Sky News reported that the deal at an estimated worth of  $1.3 billion could be announced on Monday. 

Headquartered in Dubai, Topaz Energy & Marine is a unit of Muscat-listed Renaissance Services. It operates an existing fleet of 120 offshore support vessels with an average age of  nine years. Topaz is being advised by Rothschild on the deal, while DP World is being advised by Deutsche Bank. 

Topaz chief executive officer  Rene Kofod-Olsen, said, “We have a capital markets programme, and that has attracted interest from many other parties.” 

In the last 18 months, DP World has had a series of acquisition including P&O Ferries and P&O Ferrymasters in Europe and Puertos y Logistica in Chile.

DP World’s shares rose 1.8 percent in Dubai on Sunday. Media reports have stated that Topaz will not be listed in London if an acquisition takes place. 

Earlier this month, the Kerala government in India set-up a three-member committee to explore the possibilities to partner with DP World for the state development activities, a local media report said. 

Currently, DP World is operating the International Container Transshipment Terminal at Vallarpadam in Kochi. The proposed partnership was initiated when Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s met DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem and vice president Omar al Muhairy in Dubai last October.