Bahri and Ajlan & Bros agree to create new company to expand Saudi shipping fleet
RIYADH: Shipping firm Bahri has signed an agreement with conglomerate Ajlan & Bros to explore creating a new company specializing in owning and operating a range of vessels.
The two firms signed a memorandum of understanding to begin discussions on the joint venture on Dec. 12, and have a timetable of six months to achieve progress.
Ajlan & Bros is one of the largest private sector conglomerates in the Middle East region, employing over 10,000 people in more than 15 countries, whereas Bahri is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and the Public Investment Fund, operating a fleet of tankers and container ships that transport oil, petrochemicals, and other types of cargo.
Under the terms of the agreement, Bahri will act as the JV company’s commercial and technical manager. This encompasses the management of the JV company’s fleet of vessels, along with any and all day-to-day commercial and operational management duties, performed in accordance with the highest industry standards.
Commenting on the agreement, Ahmed Ali Al-Subaey, CEO of Bahri, said: “We are delighted to enter into this partnership with ABHG, one of the region’s leading private sector players.
“Bahri will oversee the JV company’s entire fleet of vessels, offering its industry-leading expertise across a wide range of logistics services. This new venture comes as part of our ongoing efforts to strengthen ties with various leading national companies and achieve the maritime sector’s Vision 2030 objectives.”
Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Alajlan, deputy chairman of Ajlan & Bros Holding Group, said: “We very much look forward to commencing our new JV with Bahri, a global leader in maritime logistics and transportation.
“This will see us working to expand the scope of our investments in such a vital sector for the Kingdom.
“ABHG’s business development efforts, in tandem with leading Saudi companies such as Bahri, are all in line with our overarching Vision 2030 objectives.”
The agreement will create a wide range of new employment opportunities and significantly contribute to the Kingdom’s economic expansion and fiscal growth.
The formation of the JV, while attracting private sector capital to a systemically important sector of Saudi Arabia’s economy, will also help create greater domestic awareness of the sector itself and the critical role it plays.
In October, it was reported that Bahri saw its profit surge 360.67 percent during the first nine months of 2022, following a revenue jump to SR5.8 billion ($1.5 billion).
The firm made profits of SR463 million, up from SR100 million a year ago, a bourse filing showed.
Speaking at Saudi Arabia’s budget forum in the hours before the announcement, Al-Subaey set out his ambitions for the company.
According to the firm’s official Twitter account, one of the points he made was: “Our goal is how to create a point of attraction for companies in various sectors in order to advance our sector and upgrade supply chains in the coming years.”
The account added: “The importance of supply chains has become clear now more than ever before, and transportation is important for food security so that imports reach the Kingdom safely and securely.”
The announcement of the MoU comes on the heels of another agreement signed by Bahri, with Saudi Aramco Base Oil Co., also known as Luberef.
The deal will see Bahri’s business units — Bahri Chemicals and Bahri Logistics — working closer with Luberef to create a beneficial Shipping Framework Agreement and provide distinguished logistics solutions and services to Luberef, which will assist by providing details of available shipments that align with vessel dates at load ports.
Bahri Chemicals is currently managing 59 vessels comprising 36 owned vessels, including 31 medium-range and five product tankers.
It also handles the operations of nine vessels for SABIC.