BMMI's roots go back to 1883 when Gray Paul, a British-owned merchant company operating in the Arabian Gulf, established a local branch in Bahrain. Following a merger in 1936, the company was renamed Gray MacKenzie, and in 1955 became part of the Inchcape Group.
In 1980, the Group formed a joint venture with local shareholders to form Bahrain Maritime & Mercantile International (BMMI). The new company was later listed on the Bahrain Stock Exchange. When Inchcape divested its shareholding in 1999, BMMI became a wholly Bahrain-owned public shareholding company (closed). In 2003, the Group widened its shareholding base, with shares becoming available to investors across the GCC.
BMMI has successfully expanded its business operations outside the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Group's overseas presence now covers eight countries, including Djibouti, Ghana, Iraq, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Republic of the Sudan and South Sudan, in addition to the head office in Bahrain.
The Group's traditional operating activities (food and beverages, logistics and shipping) are now complemented by contract-based supply services (consumables and non-consumables) for overseas governments and organisations, as well as initiatives in the hospitality sector. In addition to its specialist divisions and wholly-owned subsidiaries, BMMI has established a number of joint ventures and strategic alliances with regional and international partners.
In recognition of the size, strength, and diversity of the entire Group, in 2010 the company legally changed its name from Bahrain Maritime and Mercantile International to just the acronym BMMI. In 2018, the organisation marked 135 years of uninterrupted activities, and today, it continues to demonstrate its strength, success and ambition.