DP World today announced the signing of the acquisition of 100 percent of the Unifeeder Group for Euros 660 million from Nordic Capital Fund VIII and certain minority shareholders.
Based in Aarhus, Denmark, Unifeeder operates the largest and most densely connected common user container feeder and an important and growing shortsea network in Europe, serving both deep-sea container hubs and the intra-Europe container freight market. The Group reported revenue of Euros 510 million in 2017 and EBIT margins in line with other asset-light logistics operators. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and expected to be earnings accretive in the first full year after completion. It will be financed from existing balance sheet resources and is expected to close in Q4 2018.
Commenting on the announcement, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, said, "We are delighted to add the Unifeeder brand under the DP World umbrella, which supports our strategy to grow in complementary sectors, strengthen our product offering and play a wider role in the global supply chain as a trade enabler."
The acquisition of Unifeeder will further enhance DP World’s presence in the global supply chain and broaden our product offering to our customers - the shipping lines and cargo owners – with a view to ultimately reduce inefficiencies and improve the competitiveness of global trade. The current operations of Unifeeder are complementary to DP World’s existing business and provides future growth opportunities.
"The ever-growing deployment of ultra-large container vessels has made high-quality connectivity from hub terminals crucial for our customers and Unifeeder is a best-in-class logistics provider in this space with a strong reputation in Europe. Our aim is to leverage on the in-house expertise of Unifeeder and to accelerate growth in this scalable platform to deliver value for all stakeholders. Unifeeder operates on the same common-user principle as DP World and adds to the Group’s strong value proposition to international shipping lines and end cargo owners in making the global supply chain more efficient and cost effective," Bin Sulayem added.
Unifeeder, founded in 1977, is an integrated logistics company with the largest and best-connected feeder and growing shortsea network in Northern Europe with connectivity to approximately 100 ports. The company provides efficient and sustainable transport solutions for international container shipping lines between international and regional ports and shortsea services to cargo owners with fully multimodal door-to-door solutions, combining seaborne transportation with road and/or rail. The business is cash generative and operates on a highly flexible cost base.
Jesper Kristensen, CEO of Unifeeder A/S, said, "We are excited to join the DP World Group as we believe that Unifeeder will benefit from the Group’s significant expertise in the wider supply chain and excellent relationships with shipping lines and end cargo owners. Not only is there commonality with our business models but we also share the vision of serving our customers through removing inefficiencies and delivering sustainable shareholder value.
"We have enjoyed great success over the last five years under Nordic Capital’s ownership, and we believe that the Unifeeder brand within the DP World Group has the opportunity to accelerate growth, expand further and take the business to the next level."