Saudi Arabia-based shipping and logistics company Bahri is planning acquisitions in Asia and the Middle East to widen its reach.
Bahri, which serves as the exclusive shipper of oil for state-owned Saudi Aramco, is an owner and operator of very large crude carriers (VLCCs), reported Reuters in an exclusive report.
The shipping firm is 22% owned by the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia and the Public Investment Fund (PIF). It is also 20% owned by Saudi Aramco.
Bahri CEO Abdullah Aldubaikhi told the news agency: “We are looking at multiple acquisitions in the Middle East and Asia worth tens of millions of dollars.
“We want to tap into a new area related to the maritime sector by acquiring companies offering services that are not currently available within Bahri’s portfolio.”
However, Aldubaikhi did not specify what kind of services would be added.
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He stated that Bahri aims to acquire a listed firm in Asia and this transaction could possibly be completed in the third quarter of next year.
The company plans to fund its acquisitions in Asia through funds and loans.
Bahri transports VLCC cargoes for Saudi Aramco on a cost, insurance and freight (CIF) basis.
The firm’s ships carry crude oil, chemicals and dry bulk. It also provides ship management services.
It currently operates 45 VLCCs and intends to expand its fleet with 15 more through the $1.5bn APICORP Bahri Oil Shipping Fund (ABOSF).
Bahri launched this investment fund with Arab Petroleum Investments Corp (APICORP) in 2017.
ABOSF will raise this amount through three phases, with each stage amounting to $500m. APICORP will provide 85% of the funds, while Bahri will contribute the remaining, reported the news agency.
It plans to raise the first $500m in the first quarter of next year. The second phase is likely to be completed in the second quarter of 2020.