AD Ports Group’s Safeen Feeders has struck a deal with compatriot commodity trader Invictus Investment to launch a new international dry bulk shipping service.
The deal will see the two companies purchase ships through special purpose vehicles, owned 85% by Safeen Feeders and 15% by Invictus Investment, and form a 51%/49% joint venture to operate the service.
The two companies are expected to initially commit around $126m for the investment in the vessels. Five ships of varying sizes are expected to be deployed within six months, starting in September 2022, with additional vessels envisaged as part of future growth plans.
The joint venture will serve as the carrier for Invictus’ dry-bulk trading business, which currently ships more than 3m tonnes of commodities annually, principally wheat and complementary grains. The majority of the ships’ capacity will be provided to support this business.
In addition, the joint venture will also extend its commercial bulk shipping services to other companies globally, with an initial focus on the Red Sea and Pacific corridors, the Indian sub-continent as well as the Black Sea region, and with the capacity to ship to anywhere in the world within international navigating limits.
The ADX-listed Invictus has leveraged its core competency in wheat trading to diversify into complementary grains, as well as cotton, groundnuts, meat, other commodities and finished goods. Safeen Feeders, which launched in 2020, has significantly expanded its fleet over the past two years, deploying new vessels of varying sizes and capacities for bulk and container services, boosting overall capacity to 23,400 teu.
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, the managing director and CEO of AD Ports Group, said: “This is an important agreement for AD Ports Group as we look to expand the diverse portfolio of international dry bulk services that we provide for customers and strengthen food security in the region and around the world. Aligning Safeen Feeders shipping expertise with Invictus’ diverse sourcing network will help create a significant new operator, with global reach and a modern fleet.”