MANAMA: Kanoo Shipping, one of the largest regional shipping agencies in the Middle East, has announced an agreement to acquire Wallem South Africa, a provider of integrated maritime solutions in the cities of Durban and Cape Town.
Kanoo Shipping is a part of Bahrain-based Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo Group (YBA Kanoo), one of the largest, independent family-owned multinational businesses in the region.
Details of the acquisition and the group’s new strategy were revealed at a ghabga hosted by the company at the Gulf Hotel.
Wallem South Africa, now Kanoo Africa, was part of The Wallem Group, one of the world’s largest providers of ship management, ship agency, ship broking, commercial vessel management and freight and logistics.
The strategic acquisition by the fully owned business division of YBA Kanoo will give it access to all South African ports as well as clients in Mozambique, Namibia and other destinations in the southern parts of the Indian Ocean.
“The due diligence we performed prior to the acquisition made us confident that we are buying an excellent business in all aspects,” said YBA Kanoo Group acting chief executive Fawzi Ahmed Kanoo.
“Wallem is a reputable name in the maritime industry and acquiring its operations in South Africa will be a gateway for Kanoo Shipping into the continent of Africa.”
According to Mr Kanoo, at the group level, YBA Kanoo’s shipping and logistics business divisions will benefit from having a solid footprint in Africa which will reflect positively on services provided to clients.
Handling its first vessel in 1911, Kanoo Shipping now operates in 20 countries, covering all principal ports and offshore tanker loading terminals around the Arabian Peninsula, including Iraq, and assists with over 17,000 ship calls a year through a network that covers all ports from the Suez Canal to Sri Lanka and East/South Africa.
Talking about the group’s new strategy that aims to unify the group into “One Kanoo” with a full value proposition, group director Nabeel Kanoo said, “We are moving away from operating in separate silos to collaborative business group functions. This is based on four key pillars: Customer focus, transformation programme, strategic risk management and compliance.
These are delivered through four new business groups: shipping and logistics, industry and energy, real estate and Kanoo Capital, with Kanoo Travel being an independent business.”
“The rationale behind the restructuring is to improve and grow our market coverage, increase our customer base and grow the top-line,” he added.
The company, which has been established for over 125 years, covers the GCC (Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman), as well as Africa and Europe, in a broad range of sectors.
YBA Kanoo’s business strategy, Vision 2020, is based on four key pillars: customer focus, transformation programme, strategic risk management and compliance.
“We look forward to leveraging our 125 years of experience, ethical conduct, best-in-class partnerships, advanced business systems and cutting-edge technologies to become a leading solutions provider,” said Mr Kanoo.
Among the group’s key customers are Saudi Aramco, Sabic, Ma’aden, Sasref, Adnoc, Bapco and Saudi Electric Company.
“YBA Kanoo is one of the most trusted partners in the region, working with world-class companies such as Halliburton, BASF, Saber, Grove, Hyster, Perkins and Bobcat.
“Our industrial and energy restructuring aims to deliver improved solutions to our clients in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE in particular,” said Mr Kanoo.
YBA Kanoo’s logistics division is targeting niche markets in the region.
Kanoo Travel aims to provide state of the art corporate travel solutions, including meetings, incentives, conventions and events, online corporate travel tools and business intelligence.
Nabeel Kanoo added: “Our goal is to further strengthen our footprint across the GCC and beyond and reassure our clients of our position as the leading travel management company since 1937. We are eager to build upon what we have already accomplished while also working on ways to give more value to our customers.”