DSV in January offered to acquire Panalpina with a mix of cash and shares with a value of about $4 billion. But in early February, the Ernst Göhner Foundation, Panalpina’s largest shareholder representing approximately 46 percent of the total share capital, informed Panalpina’s board of directors that it did not support the nonbinding proposal from DSV and that it supported Panalpina’s board of directors in pursuing an independent growth strategy that would include mergers and acquisitions.
DSV said the “revised indicative and contingent all-cash offer” was made “in response to feedback received from Panalpina and included e.g. certain commitments to be specified towards Panalpina’s employees and the Panalpina heritage.”
Evan Armstrong, a leading third-party logistics industry consultant and analyst, said, “Odds are the Ernst Göhner Foundation will probably reject the DSV offer again, even though it makes very good strategic sense.”
Armstrong and Associates’ list of the largest 3PLs, based on 2017 revenue, ranked DSV as the sixth largest, Panalpina as the 16th largest and Agility as the 26th largest.
Agility is a big player in Kuwait, the Middle East, Nigeria and a number of developing countries and has “pretty good coverage in Southeast Asia,” said Armstrong. But he said, “Strategically I don’t think the combined organization would be as strong as a DSV-Panalpina combination.
“Panalpina is a very large 3PL, but they do have deficits. They have some issues around IT and they have some issues around selling integrated solutions, and I think the DSV culture and IT platform could definitely help them,” Armstrong said.