Monday, March 9, 2020

Major Freight Forwarding Group Sheds Contract Logistics Businesses

Deal to Close Later This Year
Shipping News Feature

UK – Swiss headquartered freight forwarding group Kuehne + Nagel has agreed to sell of much of its UK contract logistics portfolio. The buyer is XPO Logistics and the transaction will include drinks logistics, food services and retail and technology businesses, operations which together accounted for over £600 million utilising 7,500 staff in 2019.

Despite previous announcements hinting at a reorganisation the move will come as a surprise to many and will doubtless be watched closely by transport unions, some of whom have been critical of the US owned group in the past. K+N says the deal will not affect the balance of its British business, in particular its industry verticals such as aerospace, government and pharma contracts.

Both organisations have opted to not disclose financial details. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including merger clearance by the competent competition authorities with the deal expected to close in the second half of the year. Dr Detlef Trefzger, CEO of Kuehne + Nagel International AG, commented:

"One year ago, we first announced the strategic review of our contract logistics business to improve profitability and focus on our core, scalable solutions. We have now reached a major milestone in this effort, having secured an agreement to sell significant non-core assets in the UK. With XPO Logistics, we are pleased to have found a good new home for our customers and employees."

As mentioned, eyes will be firmly fixed on how XPO proposes to integrate the new business into its existing services with the obvious possibility of rationalisation of staff and offices involved.