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Goodbye to one of the biggest names in European logistics

[ May 1, 2015   //   ]

XPO Logistics is to buy the two thirds stake in French-based forwarding and logistics operator Norbert Dentressangle from its owning family and will launch a tender offer for its remaining shares, it was announced on 29 April.

The deal, with a total transaction value of about €3.24 billion including €1.08 billion of net debt, would make XPO Logistics one of the top logistics companies in the world with annual revenue (in US dollar terms) of around $8.5 billion. The US operator has said that the Norbert Dentressangle name (widely regarded as one of the difficult to spell and pronounce in the industry) would be rebranded as XPO Logistics, but Norbert Dentressangle chief executive Hervé Montjotin will be chief executive of XPO’s European business and president of the parent company.

Although Norbert Dentressangle has interests in the freight forwarding sector in the US, China and elsewhere, analysts said that the attraction of the purchase to XPO was its extensive interests in European logistics. Lyon-headquartered Norbert Dentressangle has 662 locations and about 42,350 employees.

Norbert Dentressangle has extensive logistics operations and forwarding interests through its Sea & Air arm. The UK is its second-biggest area of activity, after France, boosted by its acquisition in 2010 of TDG and a number of other UK operators.

In a statement, XPO said that the deal would increase XPO’s global freight forwarding revenue to approximately $425 million annually and provide greater access to Euro-Asia trade lanes. It also expects the added volume to improve its air and sea transportation buying rates for its customers.

XPO Logistics chairman and chief executive Bradley Jacobs, said: “This is a defining moment in the growth of XPO. Our planned acquisition of Norbert Dentressangle will catapult XPO to a top ten global logistics company.” It would more than triple earnings n, but while the acquisition of Norbert Dentressangle is a major leap forward, “we’re still in the early innings of our long-term growth plan,” he added.

Hervé Montjotin, added: “By joining XPO, we will become part of an organization that shares the ambition that has guided us since the creation of Norbert Dentressangle 36 years ago: to become a global partner able to effectively support our customers in the management of their supply chains. As XPO’s platform for growth in Europe, we can continue to pursue this goal on an even larger scale, to the benefit of our customers and employees.”

According to a Norbert Dentressangle statement, the transaction is subject only to antitrust clearances in the US and Germany.

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