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AIIM buys Tanzanian dry bulk port

Hinting at the potential of Africa’s port sector at large, the Old Mutual-owned fund manager believes the facility’s throughput will triple over the next 10 years.

African Infrastructure Investment Managers has acquired a 60 percent stake in DSM Corridor Group Tanzania, a dry bulk terminal operator in the Port of Dar es Salaam.

The firm is currently deploying the last of its African Infrastructure Investments Managers Fund II, which closed in September 2011 on $547 million. In order to facilitate further port deals across Sub-Saharan Africa, it invested in the facility through African Ports and Corridors Holdings, a holding company.

Jurie Swart, AIIM’s chief executive, said the Port of Dar es Salaam’s throughput is forecast to grow to 41.5 million metric tonnes per annum by 2028, or almost three times the current volume. The facility is soon to be revamped under the Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project, a scheme funded by the World Bank, the UK government’s development arm and not-for-profit TradeMark East Africa.

AIIM argued that the port stands to become a critical infrastructure hub in the region as it services landlocked nations including Zambia, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Malawi.

“The combination of a critical requirement for greater efficiency in African ports and the development of private investment programmes is driving a strong pipeline of opportunities, particularly in the dry bulk cargo area,” the firm said.

AIIM is wholly owned by South Africa’s Old Mutual Alternative Investments, which co-founded the business alongside Australia’s Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets in 2000. The insurer bought the 50 percent stake it did not already own in AIIM from Macquarie in November 2015.