Abu Dhabi’s AD Ports Group is acquiring 100% ownership of a global port operator for 2.5 billion UAE dirhams ($680.6 million), as it looks to expand its footprint. 

The investment in Noatum, which has over 2,600 employees in its payroll and operates in 26 countries, including Spain, United States, United Kingdom and other Asian and European markets, seeks to position AD Ports as the leading logistics and freight forwarding company in the world, according to a statement on Friday. 

The transaction will be fully funded through a new acquisition loan. It will be AD Ports’ third major international acquisition this year, following the acquisition of a 70% equity stake in Transmar and TCI, and an 80% equity stake in Dubai-based Global Feeder Shipping (GFS). 

Noatum operates in three business areas - logistics, maritime and port terminals. It posted a revenue of 6.91 billion UAE dirhams and EBITDA of 6.91 billion UAE dirhams for the last 12 months. It also has presence in Turkey, China and Southeast Asia. 

The company operates 15 Ro-Ro, dry bulk, general cargo and container terminals in Spain. Its maritime division provides shipping agency services, including outsourcing and ancillary services and cargo services, such as liquid bulk, breakbulk cargo, reefer and dry cargo. 

With the new investment, AD Ports Group said it intends to merge its existing logistics business with Noatum to create a significant presence in the region and enhance its services. 

“Moving forward, Noatum will lead AD Ports Group’s logistics cluster, consolidating the company’s existing logistics offering into its operations,” the statement said. 

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Mily Chakrabarty )