Norbert takes giant step in US with £750m takeover

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Norbert Dentressangle is to take over US logistics operator Jacobson in a deal worth £444 million ($750m).

Jacobson is based in Des Moines, Iowa and had a turnover of some £474m ($800m) and 5,500 employees in 2013. EBITDA margin was 9.5 per cent.

It operates two divisions: Contract Logistics Services with 3 million sq m of warehousing across 142 sites and Transport with a fleet of 350 tractor units and 1,225 trailers.

The company has more than 1,800 customers in the US. It is strong in a number of markets including: food and beverages, chemicals, agriculture, consumer goods, durables, and has a focus on added-value services such as co-packing, co-manufacturing, reverse.

Norbert Dentressangle and the private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners have signed an agreement to acquire all Jacobson’s shares on a debt-free and cash-free basis, plus a capped earn-out relating to future performance. The acquisition will be financed through a combination of Norbert Dentressangle reserves and available credit lines. The deal, which is expected to close mid-September 2014.

The transaction increases the scale of Dentressangle, globally with +15 per cent in revenue growth reaching €5 billion annual turnover. The US will become its third largest operating country after France and the UK.

[asset_ref old_id=”23874″]   Hervé Montjotin

Dentressangle CEO Hervé Montjotin, said: “The acquisition of Jacobson is a key milestone in Norbert Dentressangle’s development strategy to become a top-tier player in global supply chain management and a step change in expanding our global reach.

“I am convinced this deal will create new opportunities for the employees and customers of Jacobson, and am confident about our ability to quickly and smoothly integrate the Jacobson teams into Norbert Dentressangle. ”

And Tony Tegnelia, COO and co-president of Jacobson, said: “We are very pleased to become part of Norbert Dentressangle, an important player in the European logistics and transport market and a company whose culture and values are highly complementary to our own.”

* Strong growth in Dentressangle’s logistics saw turnover in the Logistics division overtake that in the  Transport division in the first half. Logistics turnover was up 19.2 per cent to €1,068m, while Transport division turnover was up 6.5 per cent to €1,067m. The Air & Sea division reported a 50.5 per cent rise in sales to €96m.

Total sales were up 13.4 per cent to €2,191m, while EDITDA rose 19 per cent to €65.5m.

Montjotin said: “The first half of 2014 took place in a European economic environment, which was boosted by growth in the UK economy and recovery in Spain. Against this backdrop and despite flat activity in France, Norbert Dentressangle capitalised on its ever expanding global footprint and its positioning within buoyant sectors. Not only did we achieve revenue growth of 13.4 per cent compared to the first half of 2013, but – and this is more important – we generated EBITA growth of over 19 per cent for the same period.

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