AD Ports Group announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire an 80% stake in Dubai-based Global Feeder Shipping (GFS), a global container shipping company. The total purchase price for the 80% stake is AED 2.9 billion (USD 800 million), implying a 100% enterprise value of AED 3.7 billion (USD 1.0 billion). ), the acquisition being entirely financed by a new acquisition loan.
This revenue- and value-generating strategic investment significantly expands AD Ports Group’s global shipping footprint and adds to its long-term strategy to become one of the world’s leading players in shortsea shipping and of maritime transport.
HE Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Chairman of AD Ports Group, states: “Under our country’s able leadership, AD Ports Group has followed a development path throughout 2022, driven by both organic growth and prudent investment. Our acquisition of a majority stake in GFS, the largest external investment in our company’s history, will bring about a step change in the range of services we can offer and significantly improve our global connectivity. Our ambition is to become one of the leading shipping companies in the world, offering the most complete range of maritime services, and this investment brings us considerably closer to achieving this goal.
GFS’ LTM financial performance was strong, with revenue of $1,085 million, EBITDA of $521 million (48% EBITDA margin) and net income of $481 million.
The company has built one of the largest containership fleets in the world, comprising 26 owned-and-operated vessels with a total capacity of 72,500 TEUs, covering the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and South Asia. South East – with services connecting the United Arab Emirates to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti, Yemen, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, China, South Korea and Vietnam, among others .
AD Ports Group will seek to integrate GFS into its maritime cluster, which already offers a comprehensive portfolio of maritime, offshore and subsea services. The alignment of GFS services with AD Ports Group companies, SAFEEN Feeders and Transmar, will make AD Ports Group the world’s largest independent vessel-owned supply company, with an owned fleet of 35 vessels, and the third in the world in volumes transported with a total container capacity of 100,000 TEUs.
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and CEO of AD Ports Group, adds: “GFS offers over 30 years of experience and excellence in providing container food services in the Middle East, Asia and in Africa, in addition to a diversified offer and adapted fleet. Our Maritime Cluster recorded remarkable returns in 2022, reflecting the significant market appetite for maritime, offshore and subsea services. Integrating GFS into our operations will allow us to increase our customer base, expand our global footprint and build on this significant momentum. As always, we thank the wise leadership of the United Arab Emirates, whose support has made possible today’s historic announcement.
The acquisition will boost AD Ports Group’s business and connectivity to key markets and enhance its supply business, delivering significant economies of scale through an expanded route network and fleet. Additionally, the acquisition will further strengthen the company’s hub and spoke model by connecting key markets in the Gulf, Indian Subcontinent, Red Sea and Turkey to its critical port assets, including the Port of Khalifa.
Integrating GFS with SAFEEN Feeders services can generate significant operational synergies. Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023. The current management of GFS will remain in place, with the founders retaining a 20% stake in the company.
Amir Maghami, President of GFS, said, “This is a key moment for GFS, which sees our company become part of the AD Ports group to create the largest single provider of shipping services in the region. I am truly proud of what our team has achieved and excited for the future, which will see us continue to expand our global footprint. Our priority has always been to improve our systems and processes to continuously serve global trade, and under the ownership of AD Ports Group we will be able to provide a new level of service and support to international customers.