DP World has announced that it has acquired feeder liner Unifeeder for around US$700 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 move from DP World is a huge statement of intent, as a huge port and terminal operator moving into shipping, the move is bound to reshape the way people think about the supply chain.
DP World’s acquisition of Unifeeder also allows it to streamline its European operations much more smoothly.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, 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 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.”
Unifeeder reported revenue of around $550 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.
The move will be financed from existing balance sheet resources and is expected to close in Q4, 2018.
Jesper Kristensen, CEO, 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.”
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