AD Ports Group, the operator of industrial cities and free zones in Abu Dhabi, on Tuesday said its Spanish logistics unit Noatum Logistics has fully acquired the finished vehicles logistics business of Grupo Logistico Sese for €81 million ($84.7 million), as it seeks to boost its position in the global automotive sector.
The purchase of Sese Auto Logistics is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2024, pending regulatory approvals, AD Ports Group said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.
Noatum expects a normalisation of the European automotive logistics market, which has been factored in the transaction, the statement said.
The finished vehicle market in Europe is estimated at €3 billion, with a projected annual growth of 6 per cent in the medium term, it said.
Sese Auto Logistics, which operates road and rail transport logistics across Europe using light and heavy vehicles, will help AD Ports Group's expansion strategy in the continent through Noatum, said Mohamed Al Shamisi, managing director and group chief executive of AD Ports Group.
“With the addition of Noatum to AD Ports Group, we are delivering on … our strategy to expand our presence and build end-to-end supply chains across major global markets, and notably in Europe and the Mediterranean region,” he said.
AD Ports Group finalised its acquisition of Madrid-based Noatum in July after receiving approval from the Spanish authorities. It was granted clearance by the European Commission earlier this year.
The Abu Dhabi company, which is aggressively expanding, 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 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.
Sese Auto Logistics operates from five main European countries – Spain, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary – with a fleet of more than 200 lorries covering more than 30 million kilometres annually across the continent.
The company serves major companies, including Renault, Stellantis, Mazda, Daimler, BMW, PSA and MAN, among others.
It posted revenue of about €100 million and an Ebitda margin of 22.5 per cent in the 12 months to August.