Wal-Mart has sold its UK-based property business, Gazeley, to Economic Zones World (EZW), part of Dubai World.
EZW is an operator and developer of “economic zones” around the world. It developed and operates the 48 sq km Jebel Ali Free Zone of integrated logistics and distribution facilities adjacent to Jebel Ali Port in Dubai.
Gazeley has been responsible for developing more than 60 million sq ft of logistics warehouse space.
Gazeley will provide EZW with established operations in the UK and Europe, as well as additional growth opportunities in emerging markets including China, India and Mexico. Gazeley also brings proven management expertise into EZW.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai World, said: “This is an outstanding acquisition for EZW and a milestone in our global expansion strategy. It will ensure a leap in the qualitative services provided to our customers worldwide, thus enhancing our position as a strong and effective global business partner.”
And Salma Ali Saif Bin Hareb, chief executive officer of Economic Zones World, said: “Our capability as a developer and operator of economic zones fits naturally with Gazeley’s experience in developing distribution facilities and together we believe we can offer our customers a higher quality of service globally.”
Pat McGillycuddy, chief executive officer of Gazeley, said: “Linking our future together with Economic Zones World is an excellent opportunity for our customers globally. We will benefit from the backing and ambition that Economic Zones World brings and, at the same time, we can add significant value to Economic Zones World’s existing base of more than 6,000 global customers. We expect this move will unlock even greater opportunities for our combined customer base and accelerate our plans for continued global expansion. This is good for our people and good for our customers.”
Gazeley’s customers include many leading third-party logistics providers, manufacturers, retailers and their suppliers. Gazeley is also a preferred developer of distribution space for Wal-Mart International, including Asda in the UK and Wal-Mart.
An integration team will determine the best approach for combining the two businesses while retaining and developing the current and highly successful management teams. The partnership will see all existing employees retained as EZW seeks to expand and grow its operations globally and to capitalise on the skills and experience brought by the Gazeley team.
EZW’s current portfolio includes Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), Dubai’s flagship free zone operation, TechnoPark, a research driven business/ industrial park, Dubai Auto Zone, an industry specific free zone, and Jafza International, the overseas operations arm of the group.
Created with the vision of taking the Jafza concept global, Jafza International is emerging as one of the most focused investors, developers and managers of international economic zones, logistics and industrial parks globally and offers the depth of knowledge and professional excellence that are critical to ensure the smooth planning and development of such mega projects.
Jafza International is at present involved in more than a dozen projects, which are at various stages of development, in Asia, Africa, Middle East, Europe and the Americas.
Gazeley first launched its sustainable design concept in 2002 and the company continues to assign considerable investment into sustainability and renewable technologies to ensure this best practice approach is fully embedded in all the developer’s buildings. By 2010, the company pledges to make 35 per cent of all its developments carbon positive while providing a 35 per cent overall global reduction in carbon emissions.
A suite of environmental measures are provided to customers as standard reflecting Gazeley’s cost effective procurement and long-term commitment to sustainable development. The ability to implement leading edge environmental technologies ranging from rain water harvesting and ETFE rooflights to biofuel plants across its developments provides customers with significant operational cost savings.