Thursday, January 9, 2014

Freight Forwarding Joint Venture Splits Logistics Responsibilities in Share Shake Up

Austro - German Alliance Chimera Changes Shape
Shipping News Feature

GERMANY – AUSTRIA – WORLDWIDE – That freight forwarding chimera which trades under the Weiss-Röhlig banner is going through a few changes. Bremen based Röhlig Logistics and Austrian group Gebrüder Weiss are rearranging the share structure of their joint venture. Whilst Weiss-Röhlig USA will remain a commonly owned joint venture where each party holds 50% of the stock Röhlig has completely taken over the joint ventures in Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and India and simultaneously, Gebrüder Weiss have increased their shareholding in China, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, Canada and United Arab Emirates to 100%.

Regardless of the change of ownership the name Weiss-Röhlig will stay in the market as all previous joint ventures will continue to operate under the name Weiss-Röhlig. A merger notification for the increase of Gebrüder Weiss shares to the point of full ownership in the joint venture as above was submitted in late December 2013 to the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (BWB). Thomas Herwig, Managing Partner of Röhlig, commented:

"We have restructured our alliance. By doing so we have not only tightened our international cooperation with Gebrüder Weiss but have also ensured that each partner has full management control over its subsidiaries. As a result the organisation is now in accordance with the market needs and the individual requirements of both partners."

The cooperation between Röhlig and Gebrüder Weiss dates back to 1999 and together the two partners have been particularly active in the North American market and in Asia and the Middle East where Weiss-Röhlig has thirty nine offices spread throughout China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and the United Arab Emirates. Mr Heinz Senger-Weiss, member of the Gebrüder Weiss Management Board was keen to emphasise the alterations to structure would not affect the status quo, saying:

“For our clients, partners and staff there won’t be any changes. We are continuing our successful cooperation as before and are offering the full portfolio of the established Weiss-Röhlig services.”