AD Ports-led consortium signs initial pact to develop Sudan's Red Sea port

Agreement provides the consortium with right to develop, manage and operate port and economic zone assets in Sudan

AD Ports Group has made several investments in recent months as it continues to expand its global footprint. Photo: AD Ports
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A consortium led by AD Ports Group and Abu Dhabi-listed Invictus Investment has signed an initial pact with Sudan for the sole right to develop, manage and operate port and economic zone assets in the North African country.

Under the agreement, the consortium will have the right to create joint ventures, partnerships, or other agreements to support the financing, development, construction, management and operation of the projects, the companies said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

They did not provide a value for the preliminary pact.

“AD Ports Group continues to extend its international reach … supporting the development of port and trade assets in key markets around the world,” Mohamed Al Shamisi, managing director and group chief executive of AD Ports, said.

The deal was signed by Sudan's Finance Minister, Jibril Ibrahim. The consortium involves the Abu Amama port on the Red Sea and an economic zone in the country, according to Sudan News Agency (Suna).

Dubai-based Invictus Investment is a subsidiary of Invictus Holding and an affiliate of Sudan-based manufacturing conglomerate DAL Group. Established in 2014, Invictus Investment was listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) in June 2022 with an initial valuation of Dh3 billion ($817 million).

“Drawing on our deep experience of working with customers in Sudan, and working alongside AD Ports Group … we will strive to meet [the Sudanese government's] high expectations and deliver for the people of Sudan,” Osama Abdellatif, chairman of Invictus Investment and chairman of Dal Group, said.

Dal Group is the largest private-sector conglomerate in Sudan with investments in various sectors including food, health care, engineering, real estate and education. It has a presence across Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

The logistics pact is the latest of several deals in the last few months between Abu Dhabi and Sudan.

In October, Abu Dhabi-based International Holdings Company said it was entering into a partnership to develop and cultivate more than 100,000 acres of farmland in Sudan, with a total investment of $225 million.

This would create 5,000 new jobs and generate $1 billion in export revenue for the North African state over the next 10 years, the companies said at the time.

In September, Middle East budget airline Air Arabia and the Dal Group partnered to launch a new low-cost airline based at Khartoum International Airport.

Air Arabia Sudan will be a joint venture between the two companies, they said, without providing details on the ownership structure.

AD Ports Group, which made its debut on the ADX in February after raising Dh4 billion from its share sale, has made several investments in recent months as it continues to expand its global footprint and streamline its portfolio of assets at home.

In November, AD Ports acquired Spain’s integrated logistics platform Noatum in a Dh2.5 billion deal.

In September, the company completed the acquisition of a 70 per cent equity stake in Egypt's International Associated Cargo Carrier for Dh514 million. The deal, which was announced in July, gives AD Ports majority stakes in IACC's portfolio of Egyptian maritime companies, Transmar International Shipping Company and Transcargo International.

Earlier this year, AD Ports also bought an 80 per cent stake in a Dubai-based global container shipping company Global Feeder Shipping for Dh2.9 billion, implying a 100 per cent enterprise value of Dh3.7 billion.

Updated: December 13, 2022, 5:13 PM