DHL to buy drinks forwarder Hillebrand

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Deutsche Post DHL Group has signed an agreement to acquire up to 100% of specialist European-based beverages forwarder JF Hillebrand Group and its subsidiaries for around €1.5 billion. It will be combined with DHL’s Freight division. 

Hillebrand specialises in ocean freight forwarding, transport and logistics of beverages, non-hazardous bulk liquids and other products that require special care, using innovative flexitanks and ISO tank containers. It generated revenue of around €1.4 billion in the last twelve months and will ship some 500,000teu in 2021. The company has more than 2,700 employees worldwide. 

DPDHL group chief executive Frank Appel, said: “With the growing maturity of our freight forwarding business, this bolt-on acquisition of Hillebrand is highly complementary to our existing portfolio. In line with our Group Strategy, we strengthen our core logistics business and deliver profitable long-term growth.”

DHL Global Forwarding, Freight, chief executive, Tim Scharwath, described the acquisition as “an exceptional opportunity and an excellent fit with our strategy. We are excited to work with the entire Hillebrand team to further develop their best-in-class business on our platform.”

DHL said it would benefit from Hillebrand’s know-how and customer experience in bulk liquids and other special care commodities and also offered a wide range of value-added services,.

Hillebrand would in turn benefit from DHL Global Forwarding’s network in over 190 countries and global forwarding expertise in air, ocean and road freight.

JF Hillebrand group chief executive and chairman, Cees van Gent, commented: “The two companies are a perfect match and we are pleased to announce our agreement to unite and form a future together. I am proud of what the Hillebrand teams in true collaboration with our loyal customers and vendors have built over our 177-year history and we now look forward to joining forces with Deutsche Post DHL Group.”

The transaction is subject to merger control clearance in certain jurisdictions, including the EU and US, expected in the coming months. DPDHL intends to fund the acquisition with available cash.

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