Dubai-based logistics and maritime services giant DP World (Dubai Ports World) has signed a collaboration agreement with Israel Shipyards Ltd., controlled by Shlomi Fogel, Sami Katsav, the Shmeltzer family and the Gold Bond Group (TASE: GOLD) (itself controlled by Fogel and the Shmeltzer family). The agreement was signed a few days ago during a visit by Fogel to Dubai. Industry sources believe that the two companies will bid jointly in the tender for the privatization of Haifa Port. This will be the first time that a company from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) participates in an official government tender in Israel.
DP World, headed by chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, was founded in 2005, and is now one of the largest maritime logistics companies in the world. The source of its business strength is the Port of Jebel Ali in the west of Dubai, one of the largest cargo ports in the Middle East, and also a free trade zone.
DP World handles 70 million containers annually, as well as the loading and unloading of hundreds of thousands of vehicles. Apart from its activity in Dubai, it manages 82 seaport terminals in 40 countries. In 2019, its revenue totaled $7.68 billion and it posted a net profit of $1.34 billion. In the first half of 2020, revenue rose 18% to $4.07 billion thanks to recent acquisitions. DP World has holdings in many infrastructure and maritime services companies around the world.
Fogel, who also owns Ampa Capital, of which he is chairman, and holds other investments, has extensive connections in the Arab world, and he is one of the Israeli businesspeople currently pushing ahead rapidly with cooperative deals with the UAE. He recently said that he intended to set up two sea routes from the UAE to Eilat. A few days ago, Minister of Transport Miri Regev said at an official event that there were already two UAE companies that had expressed interest in buying the old Haifa Port from the state.
Israel Shipyards recently raised NIS 340 million in return for 20% of its shares. It has three main activities: shipbuilding; port operations; and cement.
Israel Shipyards declined to comment on the current report.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on September 15, 2020
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