French logistics firm makes £566m bid for Wincanton


French owned CEVA Logistics UK Rose has made a multi-million pound bid for fellow logistics giant Wincanton.

The proposed acquisition, which is being backed by the Wincanton board, would be one of the biggest ever seen in the UK haulage sector.

It would see the company leave the Stock Exchange and head into private hands.

It values the entire issued and to be issued share capital of the Wiltshire haulier at approximately £566.9m on a fully diluted basis and values Wincanton at approximately £764.9m on an enterprise value basis.

Earlier this week Wincanton said in an update it continued to trade in line with market expectations during Q3 and is on track to deliver around £50.5m profit before tax for the financial year to 31 March 2024.

The company has had to deal with the loss of a major HMRC contract and battling tough trading conditions.

CEVA says the deal represents “an attractive growth opportunity”, adding that it is “a unique opportunity” to expand CEVA’s offering in the UK, and to acquire complementary grocery and consumer expertise.

Wincanton’s approximately 20,300-strong team operates from more than 170 sites across the country, responsible for approximately 8,500 vehicles.

CEVA is a world leader in third-party logistics. It is part of the CMA CGM Group, CMA CGM being a global player in sea, land, air and logistics solutions, serving more than 420 ports around the world across five continents, with a fleet of around 620 vessels. CMA CGM is a provider of container shipping services around the world, a key member of the Ocean Alliance and a global port operator.

Sir Martin Read CBE, chairman of Wincanton, said: “This offer for Wincanton from CMA CGM is testament to the strength of the business we have built, our strategy, our strong customer relationships and our excellent people. CMA CGM is a highly-experienced operator in the industry, and as Wincanton becomes part of this larger business, it will be able to capitalise on the significant growth opportunities ahead.

“In unanimously recommending this offer to shareholders, the directors believe it is in the interests of all the company’s stakeholders. While we remain confident in the long-term prospects of Wincanton and the wider sector, we recognise that the strong performance of the company has not been reflected in the performance of its shares in recent years. We therefore believe this offer represents the best opportunity for shareholders to realise the value of their investment with greater certainty.”

Mathieu Friedberg, chief executive of CEVA, said: “Wincanton’s commitment to their people drives their success in the UK contract logistics market. At CEVA, we accomplish our mission through the diverse, talented people we have working in the UK and around the world. The proven track record of both CEVA and Wincanton are largely thanks to our respective employees. In addition to the innovative logistics solutions that we could develop and offer together, we would be optimally positioned to answer even more supply chain challenges for our combined set of UK customers”.