Geodis achieves goal with major US acquisition

After a long search process in the North American market, French logistics company, Geodis, the subsidiary of French Railways SNCF, has finally made an acquisition. It has acquired Ozburn-Hessey Logistics (OHL), one of the largest logistics companies in the US.

Founded in 1951, OHL has a turnover of €1.2bn, 8,000 staff and operates more than 120 distribution facilities with over 36m sq ft of warehouse space. It also provides integrated global supply chain management solutions including transportation, warehousing, customs brokerage, freight forwarding, and import and export consulting services. OHL is currently owned by private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS).

An acquisition in the US has been on Geodis’ agenda for some time and earlier in the year the company received a boost of capital from its parent company which would allow it to expand into additional markets.

Marie-Christine Lombard, CEO of Geodis commented, “…Geodis offers a second to none global footprint for North American corporations and the clients of OHL seeking to grow internationally.”

Geodis itself reported €6.8bn in revenue in 2014.

The closing of this deal will be effective after completion of the usual regulatory approvals. The transaction will be financed with available cash resources and through existing and new debt arrangements.

Prof John Manners-Bell, Chief Executive of Ti commented, “We have known for some time that Geodis wanted to expand in the US as part of an ambitious global development plan. Although the US dollar has been strong which has made any potential acquisitions more expensive for European companies, Geodis’ management has obviously taken a long term strategic view of the acquisition and the importance of the US market.”

The acquisition of OHL by Geodis follows Kuehne + Nagel’s purchase of $500m freight broker ReTrans in June, showing that the strength of the US economy is proving highly attractive to European-based, global logistics providers.

For more information on both of these companies, and to learn more about the capabilities of the combined entity, please head over to Transport Intelligence’s Global Supply Chain intelligence (GSCi) portal. GSCi contains hundreds of in depth LSP profiles which are updated daily by our dedicated research team here at Ti to ensure instant access to the most up to date analysis. Accessing this information will give you a head start when game changing deals like this come along.

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