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DP World acquires Unifeeder Group in $748m deal

Dubai-based global marine terminal operator DP World has successfully acquired 100 per cent of the Unifeeder Group, an integrated logistics company with connectivity to approximately 100 ports in Northern Europe.

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, said a statement from DP World.

The transaction valued at €660 million ($748.21 million) will enhance DP World’s presence in the global supply chain and broaden its services to customers – both shipping lines and cargo owners – with a view to ultimately reduce inefficiencies and improve the competitiveness of global trade, it said.

Unifeeder’s current operations, which offer a unique platform for independent logistics solutions, are complementary to DP World’s existing business and offer future growth opportunities, it added.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO, DP World, said: “We are delighted to close the Unifeeder acquisition and add their business to our portfolio.”

“With Unifeeder, we are acquiring a leading port related logistics solutions provider in Europe as part of our strategy to grow in complementary sectors. This transaction is very relevant to our business and provides future growth opportunities, especially that feedering and shortsea/regional transports with smaller vessels have become more important for shipping lines with the use of larger vessels by shipping alliances,” he said.

Bin Sulayem said: “Both DP World and Unifeeder businesses operate under the same common-user principle, which is a strong value proposition to our customers and we look forward to joining our expertise to make the global supply chain more efficient and cost effective.”

“Our core business is and will continue to be the container terminal, but this acquisition fits with our strategy to diversify our revenues and extend our core business to play a wider role in the global supply chain and connect directly with cargo owners and aggregators of demand, ultimately improving the quality of our earnings and driving returns,” he added.

Jesper Kristensen, chief executive officer, Unifeeder, said: “We are excited to be part of the DP World Group and we look forward to leveraging their expertise to accelerate growth and take the business to the next level.”

“Today we are starting a new chapter in our company’s growth story and we are confident that, with our shared vision for an efficient supply chain and a value added customer offering, we lay a strong foundation for further success and growth,” he added.

Founded in 1977, Unifeeder 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. It has reported revenue of €510 million ($578.35 million) in 2017 and EBIT margins in line with other asset-light logistics operators, it stated. – TradeArabia News Service

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