DP World concludes offer to buy South Africa’s Imperial Logistics

All conditions, including regulatory approvals, have been met and deal will be enacted on March 14

Containers owned by China Shipping Container Lines Co. Ltd. are offloaded at Jebel Ali Port, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2007. Jebel Ali Port, owned by DP World Ltd., the fourth-biggest port operator, is the largest in the Middle East. China Shipping Container Lines Co. Ltd., the second-largest in Asia, owns and operates container vessels for the international and domestic container marine transportation services. Photographer: Charles Crowell/Bloomberg News

DP World concluded its acquisition of South Africa’s Imperial Logistics after all conditions, including regulatory approval, were met, in a move that will strengthen the ports operator's position in Africa.

As a result of the deal, which will be enacted on March 14, Imperial Logistics will delist its shares from the main board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on March 15, the companies said in a joint statement on Friday.

DP World said last July that it planned to buy Imperial Logistics for $890 million.

Imperial Logistics “has a significant presence in Africa, a market where trade is expected to grow at more than twice [the] GDP [gross domestic product], driven by population growth, accelerated urbanisation and rising middle classes”, said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, group chairman and chief executive of DP World.

“Imperial’s capabilities in market access and logistics and its extensive African and European footprint will complement and enhance our growth aspirations.”

DP World is one of the world’s biggest operators of marine ports and inland cargo terminals, with gateways from London and Antwerp as well as hubs in Africa, India, Russia and the Americas.

The Dubai-based company has been on an acquisition spree as it attempts to become a more diversified and integrated logistics company.

Johannesburg-listed Imperial Logistics is an integrated logistics and market access company with operations in Africa and Europe.

“Combining DP World’s world-class infrastructure, specifically its investment and expertise in ports on the African continent, with Imperial’s logistics and market access platforms will enable us to offer integrated end-to-end solutions along key trade lanes into and out of Africa,” Imperial’s group chief executive Mohammed Akoojee said.

It will also drive greater supply chain efficiencies, ultimately “enhancing value for all stakeholders”, he added.

The move builds on DP World's significant expansion across Africa in recent years with its investments in seaports, terminals and logistics services as it seeks to tap lucrative trade routes in the region.

It currently has projects in Egypt, Algeria, Djibouti, Rwanda, Somaliland, Mozambique and Senegal, the company's website said.

In January, DP World said it had begun construction of Senegal's Ndayane deepwater port, a project that is set to boost the country's position as a major trade hub and gateway to West Africa.

The investment of more than $1 billion in two phases to develop the port is also the largest single private deal in the history of Senegal, the company said.

Updated: February 25, 2022, 3:36 PM