Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Beverage Freight Forwarding Group Sells One Hundred Percent of Equity

Biter Bit as Acquisition Specialist Bought Out
Shipping News Feature

GERMANY – WORLDWIDE – Two years ago we wrote how, having taken over Maryland based Royal Logistics and Royal Service Transport (Royal), so the J.F. Hillebrand Group AG had a business plan to acquire similar beverage centred warehouse and transport outfits.

The US deal was swiftly followed by more of the same, seeing bulk liquids logistics provider Braid, headquartered in the UK but with a full panoply of international facilities, brought into the fold in October 2020, and the French specialist in small quantity logistics of alcoholic beverages VignoblExport handing over a majority stake in May 2021.

Now in a case of the 'biter bit' Hillebrand itself has changed hands with fellow German group Deutsche Post DHL (DPDHL) agreeing to buy the drinks freight forwarding specialist outright.

Hillebrand is a name probably most synonymous with European beverage transport and the DPDHL offer for the group, together with all subsidiaries, of around €1.5 billion for 100% equity is subject to the usual merger control clearance in certain jurisdictions in both the US and Europe, with DPDHL saying the funding is coming from ‘available cash’. The parties say the merger makes good sense given Hillebrand’s particular expertise and DPDHL’s extensive transport web which extends to over 220 countries. Melanie Kreis, CFO Deutsche Post DHL Group is quoted as saying:

"The acquisition of Hillebrand is a unique opportunity for Deutsche Post DHL Group to add high quality ocean freight services with strong margin characteristics and high cash flow generation. We expect this transaction to be earnings and cash flow accretive from day one.”

Meanwhile Cees van Gent, CEO and Chairman of the Hillebrand Executive Board said the deal was both ‘unique and exciting’ and that the merger would continue to build on its 177-year heritage and reinforce its strategy to lead the market in the forwarding, transport and logistics for beverages, non-hazardous bulk liquids and other products that deserve special care.

Photo: Wherever you are drinking it (even Casablanca) chances are a Hillebrand company may well have delivered it.