AD Ports Group has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire an 80% equity stake in Dubai-based Global Feeder Shipping (GFS). The total purchase price for the 80% stake amounts to AED 2.9 billion (US$ 800 million) which is being fully funded through a new acquisition loan.
GFS has built up a large fleet of 26 owned and operated vessels, with a total capacity of 72,500 TEU. These operate in the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, offering services connecting the UAE 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 look to integrate GFS into its Maritime Cluster division, which already offers a comprehensive portfolio of shipping, offshore and subsea services. Aligning GFS services with other AD Ports Group companies such as Safeen Feeders and Transmar is expected to make AD Ports Group the world’s largest independent feeder company in terms of vessels owned, with a fleet of 35 vessels, and the third largest globally as measured by volumes carried.
In addition, the acquisition will further strengthen the company’s hub and spoke model by linking core markets in the Gulf, Indian Subcontinent, Red Sea, and Turkey to its key port assets including Khalifa Port.
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO, AD Ports Group, said: “Our Maritime Cluster has delivered remarkable returns in 2022, reflecting the significant market appetite for shipping, offshore and subsea services, and integrating GFS into our operations will enable us to increase our customer base, broaden our global footprint and build upon this significant momentum.”