Saudi Arabia’s crude oil shipper, Bahri, known as the world’s largest carrier of crude, is planning acquisition of a number of companies in the maritime sector in the Middle East and Asia as it seeks to expand its reach.
“We are looking at multiple acquisitions in the Middle East and Asia worth tens of millions of dollars,” Bahri CEO Abdullah Aldubaikhi told Reuters.
“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,” he added.
One of the acquisitions in Asia could be completed in the third quarter of 2019, Reuters quoted Bahri CEO as saying.
The operations will be made possible with the company’s own funds as well as financial support from banks.
The acquisition plan is part of the company’s expansion strategy and objective to improve its fleet. Bahri currently operates 45 very large crude carriers (VLCCs) but is planning to acquire 15 others for an investment of $1.5bn that it built last year jointly with Arab Petroleum Investments Corp (APICORP).
The APICORP Bahri Oil Shipping Fund (ABOSF) will raise $1.5bn in three stages raising $500m each time. APICORP will contribute 85 per cent of the funds and Bahri the rest, Reuters reports.
Bahri is owned by kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, which controls 22 per cent. The Gulf country’s largest company and oil producer Aramco also a 20 per cent stake.