Supply Chain News / Finance & Credit

C.H. Robinson to Acquire Logistics Rival

September 25, 2012
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C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. announced on Sept. 25, 2012 that it has reached a stock purchase agreement to acquire Phoenix International Inc. for $571.5 million in cash and approximately $63.5 million in newly-issued C.H. Robinson stock.

The agreement is subject to certain customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval. Closing of the acquisition is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2012. C.H. Robinson will use existing cash and plans to enter into a revolving credit facility with major banks to finance the cash portion of the purchase price.

C.H. Robinson, which arranges freight transport through its 53,000 contracted carriers, said it expects the deal to be modestly accretive in the first year.

Phoenix primarily provides international freight forwarding services, including ocean, air, and customs brokerage, currently serving approximately 15,000 customers globally. Phoenix has approximately 2,000 employees, located in 76 offices in 15 countries. The Chicago-headquartered and privately-held international freight forwarder generated gross revenues of approximately $807 million, net revenues of approximately $161 million and adjusted operating income of approximately $48 million.

"Phoenix is a high quality growth company that brings additional expertise and scale to a key part of our long term growth strategy," says John Wiehoff, C.H. Robinson chairman and CEO. "Along with their proven track record of success, Phoenix has strong customer and carrier relationships, a talented management team and excellent people, and a performance-based company culture that is very similar to Robinson's."

Wiehoff continues, "We see significant long-term opportunity in international forwarding as global trade expands, scale and technology continue to become more important, and shippers increasingly look to transportation providers to provide global services. Together, Robinson and Phoenix will be in a strong competitive position to capitalize on those growth opportunities and continue expanding our market share."

Bill McInerney, executive chairman of Phoenix, founded the company in 1979. Following the completion of the acquisition, McInerney plans to retire. Other key executive management will assume management positions with C.H. Robinson. Phoenix CEO Stéphane Rambaud, 48, will lead the combined international freight forwarding services of C.H. Robinson and Phoenix.

"It was our top priority to ensure that Phoenix be acquired by an organization that is strongly positioned for success, while sharing similar cultural values of service and performance," says McInerney. "Joining with C.H. Robinson enables Phoenix to offer its customers a broader menu of services, leverage combined volumes more efficiently, and provide employees with even greater career path opportunities. Although I will not be part of the enterprise going forward, I share the enthusiasm for the future that has so excited the Phoenix leadership team and I believe strongly that C.H. Robinson offers exactly the premier global logistics network that was needed."

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