Under the terms of the deal, the two companies will purchase ships through special purpose vehicles, in which Safeen Feeders will have an 85 per cent stake and the remaining 15 per cent will be owned by Invictus Investment.
Safeen Feeders and Invictus Investment will also form a joint venture to operate the service. Safeen Feeders will own 51 per cent of the joint venture, while Invictus Investment will have 49 per cent, AD Ports Group said on Monday.
The two companies are expected to invest about Dh463 million ($126m) in the vessels, it 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,” said Mohamed Al Shamisi, managing director and group chief executive of AD Ports Group.
AD Ports Group, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange-listed operator of industrial cities and free zones in the emirate, established Safeen Feeders in 2020 to improve connectivity between the region’s ports and serve trade in the region.
Last month, the company announced the launch of KLP21, its new advanced warehousing and logistics hub in the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad), as part of its long-term plans to boost food security.
Under the deal with Invictus Investment, five ships of varying sizes are likely to be deployed within six months, starting this month. Additional vessels will be added as part of future growth plans, the company said.
The joint venture will act as the carrier for Invictus’s dry-bulk trading business, which ships more than three million tonnes of commodities — primarily wheat and complementary grains — annually, it added.
While most of the ships’ capacity will be provided to support the business, 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 subcontinent and Black Sea region, the company said.
“Aligning Safeen Feeders’ shipping expertise with Invictus’s diverse sourcing network will help create a significant new operator, with global reach and a modern fleet,” said Mr Al Shamisi.
Launched in 2020, Safeen Feeders has 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 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
Under the agreement, Invictus Investment will operate the vessels.
“This [deal] will enable us to not only enhance efficiency in our operations, but will also support us as joint venture partners to grow together as a new international shipping service,” said Amir Abdellatif, chief executive of Invictus Investment.
AD Ports Group, which made its debut on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in February, raised Dh4 billion ($1.08bn) from its share sale.
Its portfolio comprises 10 ports and terminals, and more than 550 square kilometres of economic zones within ZonesCorp and Kizad.