Gulftainer, the port management and Logistics Company headquartered in Sharjah, UAE, on June 23 announced that it has acquired a 51 % stake in Saudi Arabia’s Gulf Stevedoring Contracting Company (GSCCO), allowing it to assume the full management of three Saudi terminals, located in Jeddah and Jubail.
According to a media statement, the acquisition makes Gulftainer the largest port operator in the Middle East with regard to the number of terminals operated in the region, with the company managing 40 % of all the major container terminal facilities in the Middle East that have the capacity to handle ships of 12,000 TEU or greater in size, and 45 % of all major port capacity outside of the Strait of Hormuz.
At the Jeddah Islamic Port, Gulftainer will operate the Northern Container Terminal (NCT) on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, Jubail Commercial Port (JCP) and Jubail Industrial Port (JIP) on the east coast.
Both Jeddah and Jubail are key growth areas in the country with strong, positive economic forecasts, following massive government investments in infrastructure.
Jubail in particular is seen as critical to economic development within the Kingdom, and the government has recently invested SAR 800 million (USD 215 million) in its two facilities to increase its capacity and cope with the growing flow of cargo. In recent years, the government has also confirmed investments in excess of SAR480 billion (USD 129 billion) in energy and infrastructure projects in the surrounding region, which in turn is expected to spur massively increasing terminal activity.
Commenting on the development, Prince Abdulaziz Bin Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Chairman of Gulf Stevedoring Company, said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Gulftainer and look forward to continuing to strengthen the relationship in the coming years. These three ports will be expanding significantly and the expertise that Gulftainer brings with it to Gulf Stevedoring and Contracting Company will be invaluable.”
Speaking on the acquisition, Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises and Vice-Chairman of the Gulftainer Group, said, “Saudi Arabia’s growth makes it an extremely fast-paced, exciting market and I am confident that Gulftainer’s proven track record in this sector will further serve and support the evolution and development of the port and logistics sector in the Kingdom in the coming years. We are honoured to partner with Gulf Stevedoring, and together we can offer a uniquely private-sector and genuinely objective approach towards port management and logistics in the country.”
Mr Peter Richards, Group Managing Director, Gulftainer said, “This is an exciting time for Gulftainer as we increase our footprint across the Middle East. The industry here is growing at a rapid pace and with this acquisition we have laid a strong foundation for the company’s future not just regionally but on a global level.”
Gulftainer was established in Sharjah, UAE, in 1976, and is a subsidiary of Crescent Enterprises which is a UAE-based conglomerate operating globally across multiple sectors including Power and Engineering, Aviation, Healthcare, and Private Equity.
Gulftainer launched the first dedicated container terminal in the UAE’s Port Khaled in Sharjah. Gulftainer has grown significantly, regionally and internationally, and now has established ports and logistics operations across the UAE, Iraq, Russia, Lebanon and Brazil, as well as joint ventures in Turkey and Pakistan, and also operates international freight forwarding and project logistics.