Grindrod completes historic sale of its bunker division

South African transport giant Grindrod has sold its bunker subsidiary, Unicorn Bunker Services, for an undisclosed amount to a joint venture comprising WOESA (Women in Oil and Energy South Africa) and Linsen Nambi.

“The conclusion of this deal has facilitated the participation of black women and black youth in the maritime sector and created the first 100% black shipowners in the country. Grindrod are proud to be part of this historic achievement,” the company said in a release.

Unicorn Bunker Services was established in 2006 and operates three modern bunker tankers in the ports of Durban and Cape Town under contract to BP, Engen and Chevron.

Khumo Ntlha, CEO of WOESA, said: “ We are excited about the acquisition and look forward to growing the business to greater heights together with staff and our partners. This acquisition provides another opportunity to expose our members to the maritime industry.”

Linsen Nambi was established in 2012, by a group of experienced black maritime professionals, as a 100% black owned and managed shipbroking firm. Since then, the company has expanded its service offering to include inland haulage, warehousing, supply chain management and distribution. Thuso Mhlambi, director of Linsen Nambi said: “Transformation of the maritime sector has been a key focus of Linsen Nambi for many years, this deal is the first of its kind in South Africa but hopefully not the last.”

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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