AD Ports Group completes acquisition of Spanish logistics platform Noatum

The company, which has a presence in 26 countries, has been valued at $681 million

Noatum auto terminal. Noatum will assume leadership of AD Ports Group's logistics cluster. Photo: AD Ports Group
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AD Ports Group, the operator of industrial cities and free zones in Abu Dhabi, has further expanded its global asset portfolio with the acquisition of Spanish integrated logistics platform Noatum.

AD Ports has received final approval for the deal from the Spanish authorities after obtaining regulatory clearance from the European Commission earlier this year, giving it full control of a company with a presence in 26 global markets, it said in a statement on Monday to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.

The enterprise value of the Spanish company amounts to Dh2.5 billion ($681 million), AD Ports Group said when it first announced the deal in November.

The transaction, which will be funded through a new acquisition loan, implies last twelve months enterprise value to earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) of 5.9 times.

This “milestone and transformative acquisition” brings together two major industry players to form a global powerhouse in the trade and logistics space.

Given the scope of its services, experience and capabilities, Noatum will assume leadership of AD Ports Group's logistics cluster. The integration of the business and its 2,800 staff into the cluster will begin immediately, the group said on Monday.

“We look forward to leveraging our integrated cross-cluster business model and working together to unlock unprecedented value for our respective customers, partners and stakeholders,” Mohamed Al Shamisi, managing director and group chief executive of AD Ports Group, said.

“The future of trade and logistics relies on integration, resilience and innovation, and by taking this transformative step together we are charting a path to realising our collective mission of becoming one of the top global trade and logistics providers.”

This acquisition falls under the AD Ports Group’s expansion plans. In recent quarters the group has acquired several assets and signed port management concession agreements across multiple markets in a bid to expand its global reach.

In June, it signed a 50-year concession agreement with Pakistan’s Karachi Port Trust. The deal includes an investment of $220 million to develop a new concession at Karachi port aimed at boosting its growth over the next 10 years.

The UAE-based company also signed a 30-year concession agreement with the government of the Republic of Congo last month to manage and operate a multipurpose terminal at the New East Mole port in Pointe-Noire.

The company is also teaming up with Egypt's Red Sea Ports Authority to develop and operate a multipurpose terminal at Port Safaga.

AD Ports Group is also set to work with Angolan organisations to develop and improve maritime connectivity along Africa’s west coast.

Earlier this year, it agreed a partnership with Kazakhstan's state energy company KazMunayGas and signed a preliminary accord with the country's Ministry of Industry and Infrastructural Development to co-operate in the development of a national marine fleet and coastal infrastructure in the Caspian and Black seas.

Noatum will significantly expand the scope of services offered by AD Ports Group, and will generate synergies including revenue enhancement, cost savings and cutting-edge technology adoption, the company said on Monday.

Noatum has generated revenue of Dh6.4 billion and Ebitda of 448 million in the last twelve months. It held a net debt position of Dh220 million as of May 31 this year.

With a presence in all major global markets, including Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and South America, Noatum’s portfolio supports such sectors as automotive and aerospace, chemicals, construction, renewable energy, industrial manufacturing, oil and gas, mining, healthcare and retail.

Updated: July 03, 2023, 6:17 AM