Less than a month after increasing its share capital to AED 1 billion, through an IPO, Dubai-based Gulf Navigation Holding has acquired two chemical tankers, Gulf Mishref and Gulf Mirdif to its fleet. The move has increased the value of the company’s assets by around 13%, it states, and is seen as a reflection of growing confidence amongst financiers in the company’s future.
Khamis Juma Buamim, managing director and group chief executive, says, “Acquiring these tankers will help us to meet growing demand and will encourage customers to discuss and sign long term contracts. This will also increase profitability, as managing and operating our own vessels will yield far higher returns that chartered vessels.”
Both the Gulf Mishref and Gulf Mirdif can transport up to 26,000 tonnes of chemical cargoes, in 29 separate tanks. They are currently operating primarily along the East Coast of the United States and Gulf of Mexico, as well as on an ad hoc basis between West Africa and Europe. “This acquisition thereby increases the range of markets that our specialised shipping services can reach,” adds Buamim. Both ships were previously owned by Stolt and were operated as part of a joint venture between the two companies.
Gulf Navigation has also signalled its intention to acquire a majority stake in Atlantic Navigation Holdings of Singapore, an offshore supply operator with a fleet of 25 vessels. These including tugs, offshore supply vessels, anchor handlers and lift boats. Of the fleet 17 are wholly owned by Atlantic Navigation, with the rest being jointly owned, chartered or under management. In addition Atlantic Navigation has seven new offshore support vessels on order, which will fulfil contracts for a Middle Eastern oil company on delivery. Buamim says, “This investment marks a major milestone in Gulf Navigation’s strategy to grow our offering to our customers in the regional offshore oil and gas sector.”
The completion of the transaction is subject to the necessary due diligence, as well as Board and regulatory authority approvals.