Grindrod supports transformation in the South African maritime industry through the sale of its Bunker Division
Grindrod announced in April 2018 that the sale of its bunker division, Unicorn Bunker Services (Pty) Ltd, had been finalised 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.
The conclusion of this deal has facilitated the participation of black women and black youth in the maritime sector and created the first 100% black shipowners in the country. Grindrod are proud to have been part of this historic achievement.
Unicorn Bunker Services was first established in 2006 and operates three modern bunker tankers in the ports of Durban and Cape Town under contract to BP, Engen and Chevron. These bunker tankers have been designed and built to meet and exceed all the oil majors’ safety and operational requirements and are staffed by qualiﬁed and experienced seafarers who ensure that bunkers are safely and efficiently delivered to ships calling at the ports. This ‘Proudly South African’ company was a division of Grindrod Freight Services and employs 110 people.
WOESA Investment Holdings – born out of the Association of Women in Oil and Energy South Africa (WOESA) – is focused on facilitating 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. Khumo Ntlha, CEO of WOESA, said: “We are excited about the acquisition and look forward to growing the business to greater heights together with our staff and partners. This acquisition provides another opportunity to expose our members to the maritime industry.”
Linsen Nambi was established in 2012 by a group of experienced black maritime professionals, as a 100% black owned and managed shipbroking firm. Since then, the company has expanded its service offering to include inland haulage, warehousing, supply chain management and distribution. Thuso Mhlambi, Director, Linsen Nambi, 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.”
Russell Burns, CEO, Unicorn Bunker Services (Pty) Ltd, 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.”