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DHL buyout ocean freight forwarder

With a global footprint in more than 90 countries, Hillebrand specializes in ocean freight forwarding of many beverages, including beer, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages, says Frank Appel, CEO, Deutsche Post DHL Group. It will also strengthen logistics core to benefit shareholders.

After obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals, acquisition of JF Hillebrand Group AG (Hillebrand) and its subsidiaries by Deutsche Post DHL Group was closed at an equity value of `1.5 billion. The companies had signed the purchase agreement in August 2021. Hillebrand now belongs 100 per cent to the DHL division Global Forwarding (Freight). “Hillebrand’s expertise is a good addition to our portfolio. In line with our Group Strategy 2025, we can strengthen our logistics core and benefit our shareholders with profitable and long-term growth,” said Frank Appel, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Deutsche Post DHL Group. “The acquisition is an opportunity for us to add services to our high-quality ocean freight service portfolio to strengthen earnings and longstanding client relationships.”

Hillebrand is now part of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight under the leadership of Tim Scharwath, who will head the combined businesses of Hillebrand and Gori as its CEO. Cees van Gent, who managed Hillebrand since 2017 decided to step down as its CEO and Chairman of the board. Hillebrand and Gori will work together, leveraging synergies from the experience of both providers, especially in logistics of beverages, beer, wine and spirits.

Gori, the wine and spirits sector specialist, has been part of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight since 1998. The business will operate under the new brand name ‘Hillebrand Gori-a DHL company’. The closing of the transaction will strengthen the group’s position in the ocean forwarding market.

“The merger combines the strengths of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight’s network with Hillebrand’s and Goris’ best-in-class solutions. This allows us to fully utilize the benefits for our customers. With Hillebrand and Gori running complementary business models, we expect a seamless integration. In combination with Gori we can leverage untapped synergies and develop better transport solutions for our customers going forward,” said Tim Scharwath, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding, Freight.

Meanwhile, Hillebrand’s majority shareholder Cobepa will sell its entire stake in Hillebrand after a 16-year ownership period. Hillebrand has expertise in liquid logistics with a global footprint in more than 90 countries and over 2,700 employees. It specializes in the ocean freight forwarding of beer, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages among others. In addition, Hillebrand also produces Flexitanks as part of its individualized shipping service solutions for liquid products, which have set the yardstick in this field. Deutsche Post DHL Group looks forward to benefit from Hillebrand’s knowledge and experience providing tailor-made shipping solutions.

“By focusing on its profitable core and modernizing its IT infrastructure DHL Global Forwarding, Freight has reached new heights and contributed to our Group’s record earnings of Euro 8 billion in 2021. The acquisition of Hillebrand will strengthen DHL Global Forwarding, Freight’s customer-focused ocean freight product portfolio and support business growth,” asserted Melanie Kreis, CFO, Deutsche Post DHL Group.

Deutsche Post DHL Group’s Strategy 2025 is to strengthen its profitable core and grow its logistics business into sustainable higher margin levels, which explains Hillebrand as an attractive partner to increase profitable long-term growth.

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