US group XPO Logistics Inc has agreed to buy France's Norbert Dentressangle for $3.53 billion (£2.3 billion), including debt.
The deal will make XPO one of the top ten logistics companies in the world and give it access to Europe's largest fleet network "through a mix of 7,700 owned trucks, 3,200 trucks contracted through owner-operators and access to an additional 12,000 independent carriers", XPO said in a statement.
XPO said the total transaction value of about €3.24 billion (£2.30 billion) would include €1.08 billion of net debt. Founder Norbert Dentressangle will sell his family's 67 per cent stake for €217.50 euros per share.
XPO's annual revenue to reach $8.5 billion
Shares in the French logistics firm soared in Paris trade after the announcement, trading 36.27 per cent higher at €216.80 today (April 29th) at 09:57 local time, valuing the firm at €2.13 billion.
Meanwhile, shares in XPO jumped 10.95 per cent to $42.45 after the bell in New York trade overnight, valuing the firm at $3.38 billion.
XPO's chief executive officer Bradley Jacobs said: "This is a defining moment in the growth of XPO. Our planned acquisition of Norbert Dentressangle will catapult XPO to a top ten global logistics company. It will more than triple our EBITDA to $545 million and increase our revenue to about $8.5 billion upon completion of the tender offer, nearly achieving our 2017 financial targets two years ahead of plan."
The acquisition will be the biggest in XPO's history, according to Thomson Reuters data, and its second this year after the purchase of UX Specialized Logistics in February.
Norbert Dentressangle is a major European transport, logistics, and freight forwarding company founded in 1979. In 2007, the company doubled its size and significantly strengthened its position in Europe with the acquisition of Christian Salvesen, and in March 2011 it bought the British company TDG.
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