Gulftainer ready to splash the cash

Industry Database

Gulftainer could invest $3bn over the next half a decade, chief executive Peter Richards has revealed.

Speaking to UAE newspaper The National, Mr Richards said that the port operator plans to spend the funds over the five-year timeframe with financing from investors and banks as it seeks to double its container capacity and acquire assets.

The company wishes to engage investors to help finance its $2bn-$3bn expansion, boost its cargo shipment handling and hit 10m teu in five years.

According to Mr Richards, Gulftainer is investigating a number of breakbulk and general cargo opportunities as well as container growth.

“We hope to continue our growth in the US market, and at the same time, we are looking at east and west Africa — and we are looking at Asia,” he said.

Clear activity

The National said that the UAE company is exploring signing concession deals and snapping up assets to attain its growth goal.

Mr Richards claimed that Gulftainer is looking at two to three entities to purchase an existing business in the US and the Middle East, and hopes that the US one will be finalised next year and “the Middle East one maybe in 2020”.

The National also said that it is hoping to enter Africa in 2019, with Mr Richards describing it as “a continent that has so much of [the] raw materials that the world needs at this time”.

“The only way to get those out of Africa is to build good gateways,” he said.

The organisation would like to tap bank finance and engage with investors, including sovereign wealth funds, private equity players and other entities, to fund its ventures, although it does not plan on selling a company stake or seeking an initial public offering.

Mr Richards added that it would explore opportunities on a case-by-case basis and let investors take part in the projects it is involved in.

“Infrastructure investments are very attractive,” the chief executive noted, adding that people are seeking “a safe haven for their money”.

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