GEODIS, the European supply chain operator owned by French rail company SNCF, has sealed the deal to buy US-based third-party logistics provider Ozburn-Hessey Logistics (OHL). OHL operates more than 120 distribution centres in North America with over 3.35 million sqm of warehouse space and has a turnover of €1.2 billion.
OHL has a core competency in direct-to-consumer fulfilment, specialising in apparel, electronics, healthcare, food and beverage, and consumer packaged goods. The firm is currently owned by private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS).
“We are proud to welcome the customers and employees of OHL to GEODIS and to provide our global customers with OHL’s expertise and presence in the North American market” says Marie-Christine Lombard, CEO of GEODIS. “Likewise GEODIS offers a second-to-none Global footprint for North American corporations and the clients of OHL seeking to grow internationally.”
GEODIS operates in more than 67 countries through its five lines of business: Supply Chain Optimisation, Freight Forwarding, Contract Logistics, Distribution & Express and Road Transport. With over 120,000 customers and 30,000 employees, GEODIS’s annual revenue amounts to €6.8 billion. Earlier this year, GEODIS unified all its activities under the GEODIS brand and in a statement on the OHL acquisition it said, “in time, OHL will also be rebranded GEODIS”.
Commenting on the acquisition Transport Intelligence (Ti) chief executive John Manners-Bell, commented: “We have known for some time that Geodis wanted to expand in the US as part of an ambitious global development plan. Although the US dollar has been strong which has made any potential acquisitions more expensive for European companies, Geodis’ management has obviously taken a long term strategic view of the acquisition and the importance of the US market.”
The move follows closely on the heels of another major acquisition by Kuehne + Nagel of freight broker ReTrans in June for $500 million. The purchase price of OHL was not revealed and the transaction’s completion is expected following regulatory approvals.