Friday, December 14, 2012

International Freight Group Takes Over Substantial Logistics and Road Haulage Partner

Lengthy Negotiations Result in Mutually Agreed Deal between Family Firms
Shipping News Feature

EUROPE – News in this week that German based logistics group Dachser is moving to acquire the substantial assets of its Iberian partner Azkar in which it previously held a 10% stake. The deal is subject to anti trust authority approval but is scheduled for completion by 15th January 2013. The Azkar freight interests comprise one of the biggest Iberian logistics providers with the company a recognised leader in the groupage sector. With a staff of 3,000+ supported by around 2,000 contracted road haulage drivers it generated €367 million last year from 91 branch offices.

Despite its avowed intent to grow organically the deal will be the second major corporate buyout in the family enterprise’s history following the acquisition of its French competitor, Graveleau, in 1999 and the Iberian group will continue to trade under the original name, at least for the time being. The acquisition of Azkar means a stronger position in the Iberian Peninsula for Dachser which is already represented in Portugal with its own in house network. Dachser pointed out that Azkar is trading profitably at a time when the Spanish economy as a whole is in deep depression.

For the past few years there have repeatedly been negotiations between Dachser and Azkar’s major shareholder, Luis Fernández Somoza, and his management team and Somoza says that the transaction with Dachser presents the ideal solution to the upcoming question of succession, whilst ensuring the future history of his company as part of another family enterprise, which stands equally for continuity with values that benefit both customers and staff. He continued:

“We are the number one in Spain. With Dachser behind us, we will be able to secure our future and have access to a dynamically evolving, global logistics network.” Dachser and Azkar have enjoyed a close partnership since 2007. Within the scope of this cooperation, both companies have increased their respective revenue in the groupage segment to and from Spain by over 20 percent annually.

“In economic terms, the cooperation has definitely paid off. What’s more, the past five years have also shown that we have a very similar mindset and way of doing business. Our corporate culture corresponds ideally with the values that Dachser as a family enterprise stands for.”

For Bernhard Simon, head of Dachser’s management board, the timing of the investment in Spain is also indicative of Dachser’s confidence in Europe’s future whilst the rationale behind the acquisition aims at securing the future growth of both companies. He explained:

“The historical similarities in the evolution of both companies are remarkable. Both companies were founded almost simultaneously in the early 1930’s whilst our corporate business models have seen very similar developments in key areas. Dachser’s success lies in its decentralized organization and Azkar will continue to operate in this tradition.”

Photo: Jose Antonio Orozco and Bernard Simon looking suitably pleased with themselves this week following their protracted negotiations.