GFH Financial Group
GFH Financial Group, headquartered in Bahrain, has been adding to its Saudi exposure. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s logistics sector is getting to see some heavy deal-making, with Bahrain’s GFH Financial Group to buy a food services and logistics business in the Kingdom. The entity – Gulf Central Company - has an enterprise value of around SR500 million.

In its rationale for the buy, GFH said the Saudi company had ‘demonstrated strong financial performance and maintained robust results through multiple business cycles’. Plus, it had a strong network across the Kingdom as well as 1,000 plus ‘blue-chip customers’.

“This transaction will come in line with GFH’s strategy to invest in priority sectors aligned with the Saudi Vision 2030,” said Razi Al Merbati, CEO of GFH Capital.

'Defensive' sectors

“This includes building the group’s presence in complementary sectors with a positive impact on the local economy that also benefit from the country’s economic growth and demographic tailwinds," said Al Merbati. "With a strong pipeline of cross-sector opportunities in place, we are focused on expanding our portfolio of unique, income-yielding assets in defensive sectors, including the consumer and logistics industries, some of the fastest growing in the Kingdom today."

Logistics makes for mega deals

Early this week, the Saudi giga-project Neom confirmed setting up a $10 billion venture with Danish freight forwarder DSV A/S to help develop the project. The partnership will focus on providing logistics services for Neom, which will hold 51 per cent of the JV, with DSV the rest.

Already a leading player in the fast-growing Saudi consumer and logistics market, which is the largest in the region, we see opportunities for the company’s (Gulf Central) further expansion, resulting from sweeping economic and social transformation and the rapidly changing domestic landscape

- Hammad Younas, Chief Investment Officer – Private Equity at GFH

By 2030, the Saudi National Industrial Development & Logistics Program (NIDLP) targets adding $453 billion in private sector investment, contributing $320 billion to GDP and 1.6 million new jobs.

“With the support of GFH as our partner, we aim to invite our foreign suppliers to set up facilities in KSA, wherever possible,” said Shafqat Khan, CEO of Gulf Central Co..