March 4, 2024

GXO Trumps CEVA’s Wincanton Offer


Wincanton Logistics Directors are now supporting a £762m takeover offer from the American third party logistics company GXO and have withdrawn their backing for a rival bid from CEVA Logistics.

Wincanton said on Friday that directors intended to recommend unanimously an offer of 605p a share made by GXO on Thursday. In the latest twist in the takeover battle, the Wincanton board withdrew their backing for an increased and final cash offer from Marseille-based CEVA Logistics at 480p a share. The GXO offer is pitched at a 29% premium to the record high share price of 470p reached during the period to 18 January, the last business day before Wincanton received a £567m bid from CEVA.

Currently listed on the London Stock Exchange, Wincanton is a leading supply chain partner for British and Irish business, and a trusted partner to many of the UK and Ireland’s most recognisable brands and influential public bodies. Wincanton provides business critical services and takes care of all customers’ supply chain needs and a range of outsourced and integrated supply chain solutions, across four sectors: efulfilment; Grocery & Consumer; General Merchandise; and Public & Industrial.

With almost 100 years’ heritage, Wincanton’s 20,300-strong team operates from more than 170 sites across the country, responsible for 8,500 vehicles. For FY23, Wincanton generated revenue of £1,462 million, underlying EBITDA of £121.9 million.

GXO Trumps CEVA

Wincanton shares were trading at 622p on Friday, sharply above the 297p it was trading at on 18 January. Although it billed its £600m offer as “final”, CEVA could yet come back with a higher offer. It has four business days from Thursday in which to table an improved bid. They provided this statement to Logistics Business:

“Bidco notes the GXO Offer and confirms: (i) it is considering its options; and (ii) the Supplementary Scheme Announcement stated that the Increased and Final Offer Price is final and will not be increased, except that Bidco has the right to increase the offer price and/or otherwise improve the terms of the Acquisition (a) if there is an announcement on or after the date of this announcement of a possible offer or a firm intention to make an offer for Wincanton by any third party, or (b) if the Panel otherwise provides its consent. In accordance with Rule 32.2 of the Takeover Code, Bidco now has a maximum of four business days to set aside its no increase statement.”

Wincanton chairman, Sir Martin Read, said: “Under the current management team, we have made positive progress and ensured that Wincanton is at the forefront of logistics innovation. The board of Wincanton is pleased that GXO recognises the very significant value inherent in this business and intends to recommend the offer to shareholders for their consideration.”

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