AFRICA – French logistics group Bollore, has agreed to sell its African operations to Swiss international shipping line, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).

The multibillion-dollar deal will see MSC Group gain 100 percent control of Bolloré Africa Logistics’ shipping, logistics, and terminal operations on the continent.

As part of the deal, MSC will also take over the company’s terminal operations in Haiti, India, and East Timor for a purchase price based on an enterprise value, net of minority interests, of US$6.3 billion.

Bollore Africa is one of the largest transport and logistics firms in the region with operations in 47 African countries and has 74 agencies in 32 African countries.

The company is present in 42 ports, and operates in 16 container terminal concessions, seven ferry terminals, two wood terminals, a river terminal, and a conventional stevedoring activity.

It also runs three rail concessions, Sitarail in Burkina Faso, Camrail in Cameroon, and Benirai in Benin, and a network of 85 maritime agencies that processed 7,100 port visits last year on behalf of the world’s largest shipping lines.

MSC in a statement has highlighted that the deal, which is awaiting regulatory approval, is expected to be completed at the end of the first quarter of 2023.

The acquisition of Bolloré Africa Logistics reaffirms MSC Group’s longstanding commitment to invest in Africa and to strengthen supply chains across the continent, as well as connecting it to the rest of the world.

MSC’s bid to acquire Bolloré Group Africa’s investments will increase competition to maintain its position as a global shipping company.

Africa is seen as a growing market opportunity by the major shipping lines as last year, German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd strengthened its position in the region with the acquisition of NileDutch, specializing in the West African market.

Hapag-Lloyd has also recently signed a framework agreement to acquire the container business of the Deutsche Afrika-Linien, with primary operations in South Africa.

These moves follow the company’s opening of a new office in Kenya to enhance its regular inland connections to and from Mombasa with landlocked East African countries – such as Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

In the North African region, it opened offices in Morocco with the headquarter being Casablanca and two satellite offices in both Tangier and Agadir.

Kenya and Netherlands sign agreement to promote horticulture trade

In other related news, Kenya and the Netherlands have signed an agreement to enhance export of horticulture products through the Standard Gauge Railways (SGR).

The collaboration aims at enhancing Kenya’s horticulture industry, a key foreign exchange earner valued at approximately 1.3 billion Euros (US$1.4 billion).

The deal involves development of a cool logistics corridor on the railway system for transportation of fresh produce to the port of Mombasa for onward export to Europe.

It will focus on the development of the Cool Logistics Corridor that aims to develop sea freight supply chains for fresh produce in Kenya.

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