The Unifeeder Group, the largest Pan-European feeder and shortsea operator, has announced the signing of the agreed acquisition of Unifeeder by DP World, a leading enabler of global trade and an integrated supplier to numerous supply chains, who operate multiple yet related businesses – from marine and inland terminals, maritime services, logistics and ancillary services to technology-driven trade solutions.
The price is rumoured to be in the region of $760m.
Under its new ownership, Unifeeder will benefit from DP World’s global scope, size and presence which in turn will enable Unifeeder’s brands to expand further and beyond present geographies and products. Unifeeder will continue to operate on a fully independent, multi-user basis under its current existing management, and expects to see additional growth as a consequence of the transaction. The well-known Unifeeder attributes of agility, flexibility, and development of customer-centric products will continue to be the center of gravity for all of the brands.
Commenting on the acquisition, Jesper Kristensen, CEO, says:
“We are excited to join the DP World Group. Not only is there commonality with our business models but we also share the vision of serving our customers through removing inefficiencies and delivering sustainable shareholder value. We have enjoyed great success over the last five years under Nordic Capital’s ownership, and we believe that the Unifeeder brand within the DP World Group has the opportunity to accelerate growth, expand further and take the business to the next level.
“By having an owner as dedicated to customer centric, multi-user solutions as the ones Unifeeder provides, we will continue to build "best in class" services, coverage and connectivities. Our increased outreach and international scope, will facilitate that we can serve our clients even more broadly and with even more scale and competitiveness. Hence, together with our new owner, we will strive to further improve our offering and further optimize the transshipment markets and the supply chains in Europe and beyond - to the benefit of our clients in particular and the cargo in general.”
Commenting on the acquisition, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World, says:
“We are delighted to add the Unifeeder brand under the DP World umbrella, which supports our strategy to grow in complementary sectors, strengthen our product offering and play a wider role in the global supply chain as a trade enabler.
“The ever-growing deployment of ultra-large container vessels has made high-quality connectivity from hub terminals crucial for our customers and Unifeeder is a best-in-class logistics provider in this space with a strong reputation in Europe. Our aim is to leverage on the in-house expertise of Unifeeder and to accelerate growth in this scalable platform to deliver value for all stakeholders. Unifeeder operates on the same common-user principle as DP World and adds to the Group’s strong value proposition to international shipping lines and end cargo owners in making the global supply chain more efficient and cost effective.”
Under its present ownership, led by leading private equity investor, Nordic Capital, Unifeeder has since 2013 grown to become the largest independent Pan-European feeder and shortsea operator with the industry’s best connected network, spanning more than 100 ports in Northern and Western Europe, the Mediterranean (incl. North Africa and the Middle East) as well as the Black Sea. This development has been supported by acquisitions and investments in new shared services centers, regional restructuring, various operational improvement initiatives as well as a focus on organic revenue growth, not least in the shortsea business.
Unifeeder operates approximately 60 short-term chartered vessels, carrying around 3.2m TEUs and performing some 12,000 port calls annually.
Unifeeder serves two distinct markets:
- Feeder Services transport containers from the large European hubs to regional ports, thereby providing major international deep-sea container shipping lines easy access to ports and regions beyond their reach.
- Shortsea Services provide fully multimodal door-to-door transport of full-load containerized cargo for customers across Europe, combining seaborne transportation with third party road and/or rail logistical services.
Founded in 1977 and headquartered in Aarhus, Denmark, Unifeeder has ~400 employees and professional representatives in 25 countries.
DP World is a leading enabler of global trade and an integral part of the supply chain.
It operates multiple yet related businesses – from marine and inland terminals, maritime services, logistics and ancillary services to technology-driven trade solutions.
It has a portfolio of 78 operating marine and inland terminals supported by over 50 related businesses in 40 countries across six continents with a significant presence in both high-growth and mature markets.