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Rohlig-Grindrod Completes Strategic Merger

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

31 October 2012

Leading South African freight logistics and shipping services provider, Rohlig-Grindrod has announced the completion of a merger to consolidate its business with private ships agency, JFM Sturrock, under a 50:50 joint venture.

The merger brings together two long-established brands, both over 100 years old. Under the terms of the merger, effective from November 1, 2012, Sturrock Shipping - which is owned by the Namibian investment company Cululo - is to acquire an additional 15% shareholding in Rohlig-Grindrod (Pty) Ltd.

Explaining the rationale behind the merger, the companies stated that their different areas of operation and market focus would present significant opportunities for synergies and open up new market opportunities. Grindrod has a strong market presence in the dry bulk space, providing services to both liner and non-liner clients, while Sturrock Shipping is primarily involved in non-liner wet bulk activities. Sturrock Shipping has a significant footprint in Sub-Saharan Africa and Australia, while Grindrod's ships agency operations are conducted in southern Africa only.

Hylton Gray, Chief Executive Officer of Grindrod Logistics said: “We are extremely pleased to have cemented the relationship with Sturrock Shipping and our partner, Calulo. This joint venture will present many business opportunities across both local and international markets, as well as achieve our collective aspirations of a minimum level 3 Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) rating for the South African operations.”

Andrew Sturrock, who has been appointed the Chief Executive Officer of the merged business, commented: “Amassing a significant amount of expertise across the ships agency spectrum allows us to offer increased services to the global shipping industry. Combined with Grindrod’s port and infrastructure thrust into Africa we look forward to continued expansion of the agency business into emerging markets”."

Mkuseli Faku, the chairman of Calulo, added: “This transaction further cements the close business relationship that exists between Calulo and the Grindrod group and brings together two long established and respected ships agency businesses, in order to better serve customers as they expand globally.”

Rohlig-Grindrod offers a full range of sea freight, airfreight, overland cargo, specialist abnormal cargo transportation and customs clearing services together with prime warehousing and distribution facilities, strategic planning, auditing services, marine insurance and advice. Employing more than 400 freight specialists, the company has offices throughout South Africa and also enjoys a presence, via its Joint Venture parent company Rohlig & Co, in 27 countries around the world.

Meanwhile, Sturrock is regarded as the leading ships agency, clearing and forwarding and logistics company in sub-Saharan Africa. The company acquired two successful ships agencies based in Australia in 2010, establishing Sturrock Shipping as an international player.

TAGS: marine

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