UNITED Arab Emirates' AD Ports Group has made its largest ship investment to date, splurging US$800 million to acquire an 80 per cent stake in Dubai-based Global Feeder Shipping (GFS), creating a feeder giant in the process.
GFS has 26 owned and operated vessels with a total capacity of 72,500 TEU, covering the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia with services connecting the UAE to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, China, South Korea, and Vietnam, among others, reports Singapore's Splash 247.
AD Ports Group will look to integrate GFS with other group companies SAFEEN Feeders and Transmar, bringing the group's fleet to 35 owned ships with a total container capacity of 100,000 TEU. As a combined entity, the 100,000 TEU-capacity would place AD Ports 20th in Alphaliner's global liner rankings.
Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close in Q1 2023. GFS's existing management will remain in place with the founders retaining a 20 per cent stake in the company.
Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi, chairman of AD Ports Group, said: "Our ambition is to become one of the world's leading shipping companies, offering the most comprehensive range of maritime services, and this investment moves us significantly closer to achieving that goal."
The top two port operators in the United Arab Emirates, AD Ports and Dubai-based DP World, have led much of the consolidation seen in the feeder sector in recent years with the latter assuming control of brands such as Unifeeder, Transworld Feeders and Feedertech among others.