Clipper Logistics board agrees takeover to drive forward £965m deal

Clipper Logistics is recommending a takeover deal by a US firm in a deal which values the business at £965m.

GXO Logistics has reached agreement with the board of Clipper Logistics, an e-fulfilment, fashion and high-value logistics specialist based in Leeds, on a recommended cash and share acquisition.

In a Stock Market announcement, the firms said the acquisition is a compelling strategic combination which significantly increases the opportunities for both businesses in the high-growth e-commerce/e-fulfilment area.

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As part of the deal, Clipper shareholders will receive £6.90 in cash and 0.0359 new GXO shares per share.

GXO said the takeover enhances its position “as a successful, innovative and well-capitalised pure-play logistics leader, in particular in the fast growing e-commerce/e-fulfilment area.”

It will also add to its presence in Germany and Poland, as well as presence in life sciences, which are key growth areas.

Steve Parkin, executive chairman of Clipper, said: “As founder of Clipper, I am incredibly grateful to all the employees, customers and shareholders who have supported our company through this journey, from our IPO in 2014 at 100p, and enabled us to become a highly-valued leader in e-logistics and other high value-added logistics services.

“The offer from GXO presents a compelling opportunity for us to continue to grow our service offering, by partnering with a global, technology-driven logistics company. We have accomplished so much, and I am confident the combination of our two companies means the best days are ahead.

“In recommending this offer to shareholders, the directors of Clipper believe it is in the best interests of all the company’s stakeholders.

“The offer from GXO gives shareholders the opportunity to receive a high portion of cash at a significant premium to the prevailing share price and a premium to the all-time closing high, whilst also being given the opportunity to benefit in the potential future upside in the combined group through the element of share consideration.

“It will give Clipper an enhanced opportunity to develop its business as part of a larger global group with the resources to capitalise on attractive market opportunities.”

Malcolm Wilson, chief executive of GXO, said: “Together, GXO and Clipper have a one-of-a kind growth opportunity, building on our shared commitment to a top-quality customer experience, innovation and industry leading expertise.

“Steve Parkin and the Clipper team have created an exceptional business with outstanding capabilities. We will build on it. Our combined complementary customer portfolios and breadth of offerings in high growth areas will affirm GXO’s position as a leading pure-play logistics provider.

“We’ll strengthen our returns and repairs capabilities, expand our e-commerce customer base, and bolster our presence in key growth areas, including Germany, Poland and life sciences, and accelerate the expansion of GXO Direct to Europe.

“We believe our very strong cultural fit, deep familiarity with local industry dynamics and commitment to invest and grow in highly attractive markets will enable a seamless integration. On behalf of our more than 100,000 GXO team members, including 33,000 in the UK, I look forward to welcoming Clipper’s talented people to our organization.

“We’re very excited about the tremendous possibilities ahead and the value we can create for customers, employees, shareholders and the communities we serve.”

GXO expects the acquisition to be immediately enhancing to underlying earnings per share, excluding synergies, and on a pro-forma basis double digit enhancing including full run-rate cost synergies.

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Coreena FordChronicle and Journal business writer