(Bloomberg) -- Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd.’s shares rose on Friday after a joint venture led by the Indian port operator won an Israel government’s tender to buy the Haifa Port for 4.1 billion shekel ($1.2 billion).
The company, helmed by Asia’s richest man Gautam Adani, and its partner Gadot Chemical Tankers and Terminal Ltd. will buy 100% equity in Haifa Port, Israel’s Finance Ministry said late on Thursday as it seeks to increase competition and improve efficiency. Adani Ports will have a 70% stake in the joint venture with Gadot holding the rest, the company said in a statement.
Shares of Adani Ports advanced as much as 2.1% in Mumbai on Friday, outpacing the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex, which was up as much as 0.6%.
The port handles nearly half of Israel’s container cargo, and the companies have won the right to operate it until 2054, the filing said.
This “may be a precedent for more M&A by Adani, given its stated ambition to become the world’s largest port company by 2030,” Denise Wong, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, wrote in a note. “The deal could strengthen Adani’s global network and cement ties with shippers, but the near-term profit contribution may be minor given increased interest expenses and development costs.”
The latest win marks the rapidly growing global footprint of Adani’s ports-to-power conglomerate after it acquired Holcim Ltd.’s Indian cement units for $10.5 billion in May. Adani, a first-generation entrepreneur, has been aggressively diversifying his empire beyond coal, where he built his fortunes, and into sectors including data centers, airports, digital services, media and health care.
“In the short term, we look forward to developing strategic trade lanes between our ports in India and Haifa and help facilitate trade between the two countries,” Karan Adani, Adani Ports’ chief executive officer, said in the statement. The company will fund its investment in the port through internal accruals, he said.
Adani Port’s latest addition will have to compete with a new port in Haifa, which is operated by Shanghai International Port (Group) Co. and was inaugurated in September.