Tuesday 20th Feb 2018 - Logistics & Supply Chain

Logistics mergers quadruple in three years

The total value of completed mergers and acquisitions in the freight logistics sector has more than quadrupled from £7. billion in 2013 to £31.4bn in 2015, according to KPMG’s latest Transport Tracker.

And further transactions worth approximately £33.2 bn were announced during the year.

KPMG now expects total mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the transport sector to top £52 billion in 2016 – well ahead of the £48 billion seen last year.

Asset-light logistics operators with advanced IT systems have, in recent years, been popular acquisition targets for large logistics providers and freight forwarders. However, we increasingly see that that “leaner” logisticians are looking for assets and (reliable) networks to supplement their services.

Examples include the acquisition of US logistics company Coyote Logistics (high-tech / asset-light business model) by UPS worth £1.2bn, and the takeover of the French forwarder Norbert Dentressangle by XPO Logistics for £1.8bn.

The anticipated completion of the FedEx TNT deal (£3.1bn) will set the basis for another big year in M&A, said KPMG. It follows the £3.3bn acquisition of Toll Logistics by Japan Post in 2015 – a move that will transform the business model of the postal service operator towards a full-service logistics provider.

The Asia Pacific region, ASPAC, accounted for 55 per cent of the announced transaction values last year. Landmark transactions in 2015 included: the operating concession for Kansai and Osaka Airports valued at £11.7bn; the acquisition of Australian rail and port operator Asciano for £4.3bn; and Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines acquisition by CMA CGM for £1.4bn.

KPMG also sees alliances and partnership models continuing to evolve, highlighting developments in the aviation sector such as the joint venture between Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines, and the alliance between IAG and LATAM.

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