GNDE - Grindrod Limited - Grindrod acquires share of Mapu

04/04/2006 16:30:01

Grindrod Limited - Grindrod acquires share of Maputo Port
Grindrod Limited
Share Code: GND
ISIN: ZAE000072328
Grindrod today announced the acquisition of a 12,24% share in the Maputo Port.
This follows Grindrod"s recent acquisition of Auto Carriers, Grindrod Perishable
Cargo Agents and more recently Cross Country Containers.
Grindrod CEO, Ivan Clark stated "the expansion into port operations and
terminals is an exciting move for the Grindrod group." The Grindrod group has
been positioning itself for concessioning of ports in Southern Africa for some
time. The Maputo Port provides an immediate opportunity for Grindrod to
participate in the development of a port with a natural hinterland and which is
an integral part of Southern Africa"s freight system.
Clark added "our South African customers are continually asking us to provide
logistic solutions through Maputo. When one considers that our shipping lines,
Unicorn, Island View Shipping, and Ocean Africa Container Lines all call on
Maputo, it makes strategic sense for us to participate in the Port of Maputo."
Maputo is located approximately 500 km from Johannesburg and has historically
shipped up to 14 million tons of cargo per annum. Grindrod also owns the Matola
Coal Terminal which is part of the Maputo Port. The main commodities which can
be shipped through Maputo are coal, iron ore, fruit, ferro alloys, steel
products, containers, cars and other related commodities. The Maputo Port was
concessioned in 2002 to a private consortium consisting of European majors
including Mersey Docks, a well known international port operator. Grindrod
acquired its 12,24% share from the European shareholders diluting their
respective interests. The Port concession is for an initial 15 year period with
a further 10 year optional period. The Mozambican government holds a 49% share
in the Maputo Port Development company (the port concessionaire), the balance of
51% being held by the private consortium of which Grindrod is now part.
Grindrod also announced today, its intention to spend up to $25 million
upgrading its Matola Coal Terminal facility in Maputo. This would be done over
a period of time lifting the capacity to 6 million tons per annum. The terminal
is currently housed in African Portland Industrial Holdings (API) which was
acquired by Grindrod in March 2005. The terminal currently handles 1,7 million
tons per annum, the capacity of which is constrained by the rail line feeding
the port.
The Mozambican authorities have recently embarked on an upgrade of the line and
will have to deal with the rolling stock and locomotive power capacity
constraints in time. Critical to the success of the rail upgrade is Spoornet"s,
the South African Rail utility, support. Indications are that the South African
government views the Port of Maputo as an integral part of the freight
infrastructure of Southern Africa.
The Chairman of MPDC, Mr Ken Wharton of Mersey Docks, stated "we are extremely
pleased to have a South African major like Grindrod joining our consortium. It
is always important to have a local partner who has shipping expertise, the
necessary contacts and financial resources to support an important and
regionally strategic port like Maputo".
No price was give for the acquisition of Grindrod"s 12,24% stake as it was
acquired from the private consortium members.
Contact Details
I A J Clark L R Stuart-Hill
CEO - Grindrod Limited Director - Grindrod Limited
+27(0)82-891 3587 +27(0)83-300 0820
+27(0)31-304 1451 +27(0)31-304 1451
Ken Wharton
Chairman - Maputo Port Development Company
Date: 04/04/2006 04:30:04 PM Produced by the JSE SENS Department

Back to securities exchange news feed