Deutsche Post Moves to Acquire Exel

U.K.-based third party logistics giant Exel has continued to report outstanding financial results. It’s latest release placed first-half profits at £81.8 million ($148 million) pre-tax on revenues of £3.64 billion ($6.6 billion). Exel’s financial results have benefited from acquisitions the company completed and integrated into its network, including Tibbet & Britten.

Rumors of a possible acquisition have circulated throughout the year with U.S.-based UPS named as one possible suitor. U.S. rival FedEx was also mentioned, but analysts and industry watchers, like bookies at a race track, favored a face off between Deutsche Post and UPS in the race to acquire Exel. When rumors first surfaced, both Exel and UPS refused to comment – providing no denial or confirmation of any interest. Comments by Deutsche Post World Net (DPWN) at that time continued to fuel speculation.

Among its logistics holdings, DPWN owns DHL. DHL’s entry into the U.S. market has been costly. It acquired Airborne Express, establishing a firm foothold in the U.S., but first-year results accrued losses far in excess of expectations. Recently, DHL said its North American operations were back on track.

The preliminary nature of the talks between DPWN and Exel leaves room for speculation whether a bidding war will erupt for control of the company. UPS could still weigh in, as could FedEx.

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