GIH acquires Kuwaiti logistics company for $150m

Global Investment House has acquired a majority stake in transport and logistics company Jassim Transport & Stevedoring in a deal the firm claims is the largest private equity buyout ever in Kuwait.

Global Investment House, the Kuwait-based investment bank, has acquired a controlling stake in Jassim Transport & Stevedoring, an integrated logistics company in Kuwait.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, but a souce close to the situation pegged the deal value at around $150 million. The investment was made from the $615 million 2007 Global Buyout Fund.

Jassim provides services such as cargo and container stevedoring, warehousing, heavy lifting, transportation and equipment leasing. It rents equipment such as cranes, forklifts, compressors and generators to customers in the region. In addition to these services, Jassim operates 1,000 fuel tankers, making it the region’s largest fuel distribution operation, Global said. Its clients include Kuwait National Petroleum and the US military.

JST: Kuwait's largest buyout

Jassim Transport & Stevedoring is a good platform “to expose the fund to the logistics and equipment rental markets in the region and to further consolidate and regionalise the industry”, Shailesh Dash, a senior vice president and head of the private equity funds group at Global Investment House, said in a statement.

He added that the logistics sector in the Middle East will witness growth and higher margins, especially considering that weak players will gradually exit the market or integrate into larger companies.

“This represents one of the largest private equity transactions in the region and the largest in Kuwait,” said Omar El Quqa, executive vice president at Global Investment House, without elaborating further.

Global’s private equity funds group manages assets of more than $3 billion. It has invested about $1.5 billion in 55 deals over the last four years and made 15 exits.

Additional reporting by Toby Mitchenall