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AD Ports splurges $800m to take over Global Feeder Shipping

AD Ports Group has made its largest ship investment to date, spending $800m to take an 80% 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.

Our ambition is to become one of the world’s leading shipping companies

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% stake in the company.

Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi, chairman of AD Ports Group, said: “Our acquisition of a majority stake in GFS, which is the largest external investment in our company’s history, will deliver a step-change in the range of services we can offer and significantly enhance our global connectivity. 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.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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