Kuehne+Nagel to buy Asian forwarder Apex International

Kuehne+Nagel is set to expand in Asia Pacific after announcing to buy forwarder Apex International in a deal valued at U$1.5 billion.

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Kuehne+Nagel acquires Asian logistics provider Apex International Corporation

Kuehne+Nagel is set to expand its footprint in Asia Pacific after it agreed to buy freight forwarder Apex International, which the Swiss company described as the “largest acquisition in its history.”

In a press release, the two parties have agreed to not disclose any transaction details, but a Bloomberg report valued the purchase at US$1.5 billion.

Apex was founded in China in 2001 and has expanded throughout Asia, with particular focus on the transpacific and intra-Asia routes. In 2015, majority of its shares was bought by North Asia-focused private equity firm MBK Partners.

The freight forwarder has around 1,600 employees and generates yearly turnover of over US$2.3 billion (CHF2.1 billion). It handled 750,000 tonnes of air freight, along with sea freight volume of 190,000 TEUs.

Also read: Kuehne+Nagel rolls out Chinese digital portal for air freight booking

“The combination of Apex and Kuehne+Nagel provides us with an opportunity to offer our customers a compelling proposition in the competitive Asian logistics industry, especially in e-commerce fulfilment, hi-tech and e-mobility,” commented Dr. Detlef Trefzger, K+N CEO.

Tony Song, Apex chairman and CEO, welcomed the proposed transaction, which he said will allow the company to add value for customers’ supply chains and expand its global logistics network.

“We will complement Kuehne+Nagel’s existing global Air Logistics team while offering our management and key talents unique career opportunities,” he added.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including merger clearance by the competent competition authorities.

The Swiss company said the deal will be financed by available “liquid sources and, if needed, by available credit lines.” It added that upon completion, “a minor stake of Apex shares is to remain with the experienced and entrepreneurial management of Apex” and the company will continue to operate separately within the K+N Group.

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