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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Crescent Enterprises acquires minority stake in logistics firm Transcorp

Deal will help Transcorp seize opportunities in e-commerce and food delivery while expanding in Mena

Transcorp can seize plentiful regional opportunities in logistics with its new funding from Crescent Enterprises. Pawan Singh / The National
Transcorp can seize plentiful regional opportunities in logistics with its new funding from Crescent Enterprises. Pawan Singh / The National

Crescent Enterprises, a Sharjah-based conglomerate, acquired a minority stake in UAE's logistics firm Transcorp as part of its plans to invest $150 million (Dh550m) in start-ups over the next three years.

CE-Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Crescent Enterprises, invested in a "significant" stake in the last-mile delivery company with the aim of expanding Transcorp's business in the Middle East and North Africa, it said in a statement on Tuesday. It did not disclose the size of the stake or the value of the deal.

Transcorp is "well-positioned to seize growth opportunities resulting from the e-commerce and food delivery boom", Tushar Singhvi, director of CE-Ventures, said. Crescent Enterprises will work with Transcorp to "increase its geographical footprint with the objective of establishing the company as the top provider of last-mile cold chain logistics solutions across the MENA region.”

The Transcorp deal is part of CE-Ventures' strategic plan to invest in early- to late-stage startups. Half of the funds are earmarked for ventures based in the Middle East and North Africa. Transcorp, which mainly caters to the food and beverage industry, aims to grow its presence in Saudi Arabia and expand into consumer goods such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

“The investment from CE-Ventures has provided us with the means to fast-track our expansion within the Mena region and introduce our service offering to other industries," Rodrigue Nacouzi, chief executive and founder of Transcorp, said. "Crescent Enterprises’ extensive logistics expertise will enable Transcorp to explore new markets and domains and achieve its goal of addressing the gaps in last-mile distribution services."

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The Transcorp investment is CE-Ventures' latest deal after investing $46 million in 18 startups and VC funds across the US, Mena and Southeast Asia. It targets sectors including medical technology, artificial intelligence and cyber security, food, energy-tech and supply chain tech.

Prior to launching its venture capital arm, Crescent Enterprises, a closely-held conglomerate with operations across industries including ports and logistics, power and engineering, business aviation and healthcare, had invested in startups as a new revenue stream.

Crescent Enterprises employs more than 4,500 people in 20 countries across five continents and its sister company is upstream oil and gas company Crescent Petroleum.