French Supply Chain Giant Geodis to Buy OHL

Geodis, OHL, 3PL, supply chain, supply chain solutions, UPS, FedEx, Coyote Logistics, GENCO, TNT ExpressContinuing a recent trend in logistics consolidation, Geodis, Europe’s fourth-largest supply chain operator, plans to acquire OHL (formerly Ozburn-Hessey Logistics) for an undisclosed amount which industry observers estimate at $800 million, or ten times OHL’s 2014 earnings.

Geodis is a subsidiary of SNCF Logistics, the freight services division of French rail operator SNCF Group. The company plans to eventually rebrand OHL as Geodis. OHL is owned by private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe.

The closing of the deal, contingent on regulatory approvals, will be financed with available cash resources and through existing and new debt arrangements, according to Geodis.

Recent major deals in logistics and supply chain services include FedEx’s December acquisition of reverse logistics specialist GENCO for $1.4 billion, its move to acquire Dutch competitor TNT Express for $4.8 billion (undergoing European Commission regulatory review), and UPS’s plan to acquire freight brokerage Coyote Logistics for $1.2 billion.

Founded in 1951, OHL operates more than 120 distribution centers in North America with over 36 million square feet of warehouse space. It provides integrated global supply chain management solutions including transportation, warehousing, customs brokerage, freight forwarding and import-export consulting services.

OHL’s focus is in direct-to-consumer fulfillment, specialty retail and manufacturing. Areas of concentration include apparel, electronics, healthcare, food and beverage and consumer packaged goods.

“We are proud to welcome 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 in a release. “Likewise Geodis offers a second-to-none global footprint for North American corporations and clients of OHL seeking to grow internationally.”

With over 120,000 customers and 30,000 employees, Geodis has customers in nearly 70 countries, providing supply chain optimization, freight forwarding, contract logistics, distribution and express and road transport. OHL has 8,000 employees.

According to logistics industry research group Armstrong & Associates, Geodis is the world’s 13th largest logistics provider, with $5.96 billion in 2014 revenue. OHL’s 2014 revenue of $1.31 billion make it the 27th largest 3PL in the U.S., according to the researchers.

“We are excited to join forces with Geodis and look forward to the extended reach of a worldwide group” says Randy Curran, CEO of OHL, in the release. “Both organizations have a long tradition of finding world-class supply chain solutions for customers in pursuit of the superior customer experience.”

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