GXO seems to have won Wincanton


GXO looks like it has pipped CMA-CGM/CEVA at the post through a last-minute knock-out bid for Wincanton. CEVA had made what it called a “Final Offer Price” on the 26th February, upping its previous bid by 6.7% in response to an initial approach by GXO. Now GXO has made a new offer. According to a statement from Wincanton dated on the 1st March, GXO Logistics Inc. has made a “firm intention to make a cash offer for the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Wincanton (the “GXO Offer”), for an offer price of 605 pence for each Wincanton Share”. And this is an offer that the board of Wincanton are also inclined to accept, stating that they “intend to recommend unanimously the GXO Offer and, accordingly, have withdrawn their recommendation of the increased and final* cash offer by CEVA Logistics UK Rose Limited”. However, in the details of CEVA’s statement on the 26th February, it does mention that CEVA could “increase the offer price and/or otherwise improve the terms of the Acquisition (i) if there is an announcement on or after the date of this announcement of a possible offer or a firm intention to make an offer for Wincanton by any third party”. So there is a possibility of a further CEVA bid.  

This must be making Wincanton shareholders quite happy, with the new GXO offer being roughly twice the price of what Wincanton shares were trading at in January, before CEVA/CMA-CGM made its first offer. As the board of Wincanton commented “The Wincanton Directors are pleased that the public offer process, triggered by their recommendation of CEVA Bidco’s offer on 19 January 2024, is maximising value and delivering a significant premium to Wincanton Shareholders”. 

Bradley Jacobs, the founder and Chairman of GXO and its previous parent XPO, is highly experienced at buying companies. He is likely to have a realistic view on the value of a company such as Wincanton. This would suggest that CMA-CGM/CEVA were not alone in perceiving greater value on the UK logistics market than the valuation on the London stock-markets implied.

Author: Thomas Cullen

Source: Ti Insight

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