Mergers heat up 3PL marketplace

Mergers heat up
3PL marketplace

The announcement that U.K.-based Exel has made an offer of approximately $600 million for rival third-party logistics provider Tibbett & Britten has fueled speculation that a rival offer could surface. Tibbett & Britten's broad customer base is at once appealing and challenging. On one hand, it offers Exel expansion prospects that would help balance its capabilities globally. However, the acquisition could cost Exel some revenue as Tibbett & Britten customers switch providers or renegotiate contract rates downward.

A report in the Financial Times states that analysts believe a bidding war could ensue for the Tibbett & Britten. Contenders, according to the report, include Hays (U.K.), Deutsche Post (Germany), Kuehne & Nagel (Switzerland) or UTI Worldwide (U.S.).

Exel confirmed the cash offer for Tibbett & Britten, suggesting that among other benefits, Exel would be able to strengthen its market position outside the U.K. and increase its presence in non-food retailing. Exel also estimates savings in the neighborhood of $27-$36 million per year. The Tibbett & Britten board reportedly plans to encourage shareholders to approve the offer.

Meanwhile, TNT Logistics has acquired Scandinavian forwarding company Wilson for approximately $300 million. This will provide the company with forwarding capabilities which it previously lacked and bring it into line with many of its major competitors, says John Manners-Bell, chief analyst with Transport Intelligence.

Wilson has a strong global freight forwarding network in 28 countries. With revenues of approximately $850 million and more than 2,000 employees, the acquisition will provide TNT with forwarding capabilities which it previously lacked.

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July, 2004

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