Inchcape Shipping Services makes a major investment in Suez specialist Leth Suez Transit Ltd, a global shipping agency which handles over 200 transits per month in the Suez Canal.

Leth with its heritage starting in 1924 as a bunker supplier in Egypt, has grown into a globally transit agent.

The company’s footprint has expanded from Egypt to the Danish Straits, Singapore, Gibraltar, and Spain, and had partnerships in Turkey and Panama.

Leth stressed that it will be business as usual after the investment as it stays a separate company and brand with Otto Jervell remaining CEO and shareholder.

During 2024 the company plans to expand into markets like the US, Greece, and Asia, providing an enhanced 24/7 service to its clients.

Otto Jervell, chief executive of Leth, said: “LETH will continue as is with the same operating philosophy and great people. Partnering with Inchcape allows us to take LETH to the next level of becoming the leading global transit agent.”

“We see potential to increase our presence where our clients are located and the need to speed up our digitalization process. Inchcape, a portfolio company of private equity fund Epiris, will provide us the much-needed resources and know-how to succeed.”

“Supported by Inchcape’s network of close to 250 offices in 60 countries, we will be able to provide even better services to our clients, being next door to them”, Jervell continued.

Leth said it will utilize Inchcape’s global presence, infrastructure, and financial capabilities, whilst Inchcape will benefit from Leth’s “distinctive and solution-based value proposition, brand strength as a transit specialist and strong customer relationships.”

Philippe Maezelle, chief executive of Inchcape Shipping Services, noted: “From the very first engagement, Jervell and his team have left me with a very strong impression. Their client and service focus is second to none and very much setting the industry benchmark. Our team and I feel privileged to be able to work together and continue to develop meaningful value propositions for our customers.”