Bunker services sale advances maritime industry transformation

05 May 2018 | Web Article Number: ME20189649

Materials Handling & Bulk Handling
SMME Development & Support
Transport, Distribution & Warehousing

GRINDROD has announced the sale of its Bunker Division, Unicorn Bunker Services, for an undisclosed amount.  The transaction was financed through the IDC. The company is now co-owned by WOESA (Women in Oil and Energy South Africa) and Linsen Nambi.

Unicorn Bunker Services was established in 2006 and operates three bunker tankers in the ports of Durban and Cape Town under contract to BP, Engen and Chevron. It was a division of Grindrod Freight Services and employs 110 people. 

WOESA Investment Holdings promotes women’s participation in business opportunities in the oil, gas and energy sector in South Africa. It is a broad-based women empowerment company with more than 1000 shareholders.

CEO Khumo Ntlha said, “ We are excited about the acquisition and look forward to growing the business to greater heights together with staff and our partners. This acquisition provides another opportunity to expose our members to the maritime industry”.

Linsen Nambi was established in 2012, by a group of black maritime professionals as a 100% black owned and managed shipbroking firm. Since then, the company has expanded their service offering to include inland haulage, warehousing, supply chain management and distribution.

Director Thuso Mhlambi said, “Transformation of the maritime sector has been a key focus of Linsen Nambi for many years. This deal is the first of its kind in South Africa but hopefully not the last”. 

Unicorn Bunker Services CEO Russell Burns said, “This transaction supports the government’s agenda of transformation and as a company we are honoured to be part of the process of skills transferal and improving the transformation profile of the South African maritime industry”. 

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