190519 gulf navigation
The process has ben set in motion for an investor to come on board and clear part of the debt Gulf Navigation is saddled with currently. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: If a deal comes through, Dubai’s Gulf Navigation expects to get a much-needed cash injection from a new investor that will help pay off part of its debts. In addition, the investor could bring an additional Dh120 million that would aid the shipping company’s current and future expansion plans.

It was on Tuesday that Gulf Navigation first spoke of a strategic investor having shown interest. Today, the company outlined the immediate and medium-term benefits that would accompany the deal going through. 

On Tuesday, the Gulf Navigation stock closed 14.85 per cent higher at Dh0.6 as shareholders took in the news of possible investment help on the horizon. (It has also set off a guessing game as to where the new investor could be from, with mentions being made about an one from Abu Dhabi or Saudi Arabia.)

The deal, if all works to plan, could be done in the next three to four months. For now, an outside consultant will look at the proposed deal to see the pros and cons. Only an in-principle agreement has been struck with the investor, whose identity has not been revealed. Only based on the consultant’s findings will set into motion the deal, or whether the investor backs off.

Gulf Navigation has put together a turnaround strategy in recent months, which will likely see results in the coming year. Debt burden has been lowered and refinancing agreement struck with lenders. Its refinanced amount is $62 million. 

The UAE’s maritime industry has been recording significant upward momentum, with the likes of Abu Dhabi’s Al Seer Marine adding new vessels and aiming to be global players. There’s AD Ports Group going through a series of acquisitions, in the UAE and outside, with the same goal – global reach. Dubai’s DP World continues a massive expansion at Jebel Ali and at its overseas bases.