Panalpina to acquire Kenya-based Airflo from Dutch Flower Group

Panalpina is set to acquire a majority stake in Airflo, a company based in Kenya and the Netherlands specializing in the export handling of flowers and vegetables. Airflo is part of Dutch Flower Group (DFG), a flower and plant trader, from which Panalpina World Transport (Holding) Ltd. will acquire a majority stake, subject to conditions.

According to the announcement, Airflo is Kenya’s second largest air freight forwarder, specializing in the world-wide export of fresh cut flowers, plant cuttings and vegetables, with a focus to the Netherlands and the UK. The company employs a total of 167 staff in Nairobi and Aalsmeer. It organizes up to 1,500 temperature-controlled shipments per week from Kenya, totalling more than 40,000 tons of fresh cut flowers each year.

Peter Ulber, Panalpina’s CEO said of the deal, “The acquisition of Airflo further expands our presence in Africa and makes us an important player in the Kenyan flower market.”

Marco van Zijverden, CEO of DFG commented, “By going together with a strong global player such as Panalpina, we can ensure that all customers – growers, importers and retailers – will continue to receive the quality service that they are used to. We will further strengthen the supply chain and benefit from Panalpina’s global expertise.”

Airflo’s services in Kenya include quality control after products have been delivered to its Nairobi warehouse by growers, palletizing and delivery of the secured goods ready-for-transport to the ground handling agent at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The process includes a temperature-controlled environment, as well as the use of a vacuum cooler to cool fresh cut flowers down to 4 °C in a matter of minutes. Airflo coordinates its shipments with airlines and takes care of customs clearance at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and onward distribution.

DFG and Panalpina have agreed not to disclose any financial details of the deal. The acquisition is subject to approvals by the Kenyan and Dutch authorities.