Gulf Navigation eyes acquisitions, debt restructure - CEO

Gulf Navigation eyes acquisitions, debt restructure - CEO
Gulf Navigation managing director and group CEO Khamis Juma Buamim
Gulf Navigation
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By: Amr Fouad

Dubai – Mubasher: Gulf Navigation Holding is planning two new acquisitions in the UAE added to raising its fleet and may consider postponing its sukuk issuance, a top official has revealed.

The company has successfully completed the restructuring of $80 million in debt through an alliance of UAE banks rather and a consortium of European ones, managing director and group CEO Khamis Juma Buamim told Mubasher exclusively.

The top official projected that his company would achieve positive results in the final quarter of 2017.

UAE acquisitions

Responding to a question on Gulf Navigation’s new acquisition, Buamim revealed that his company was studying an investment opportunity inside the UAE, after reaching the final stages for another in Singapore.

We are also studying two other acquisitions in the UAE, the top official told Mubasher, noting that the company may announce one of them within two months’ time.

Abu Dhabi partnership

The CEO also revealed that his company was on the verge of signing a deal with a major Abu Dhabi company, which will bolster Gulf Navigation’s local presence, support its maritime logistics, and increase operating levels and local market share.


Saudi Expansions

As for Gulf Navigation’s expansions in Saudi Arabia, Buamim noted that his company was looking to raise its vessel capacity in order to benefit from the promising opportunities there.

This step will most likely be taken through partnerships with Saudi companies, the top official noted, highlighting that Gulf Navigation was planning to raise the volume of its work to 60% from 40% in the kingdom.

The recent Saudi-UAE deals have opened new horizons for companies, he added.


Sukuk delay

As for the financing resources Gulf Navigation has recently resorted to, Buamim said that his company was weighing between available funding options including a capital hike and a sukuk issue.

We expect the capital increase to be very successful, the top official told Mubasher, noting that the company was planning to postpone a $250 million sukuk issue that had been approved by its shareholders at an earlier time.


Q4 forecasts

In terms of results, Gulf Navigation has suffered several setbacks over the past period, which has negatively affected its results, the CEO noted.

The Dubai-listed navigation firm last reported trimming its losses to AED 85 million by the end of September, from AED 119 million in 2016 and AED 242 million in 2015.

We are currently working on bolstering Gulf Navigation’s profits by increasing operation levels and market share while restructuring out debts and halting our losses, Buamim told Mubasher.

As for Q4-17 forecasts, the top official expects his company to register higher profits than those achieved in Q3-17, when it logged AED 12.3 million.


Translated by: Nada Adel Sobhi