Takeover of Kenyan perishables forwarders to go ahead, with conditions

05 / 09 / 2017

Kenya’s competition watchdog has approved “with conditions” the takeover of two specialist perishables forwarders in the African country by European logistics giants Kuehne+Nagel (K+N) and Panalpina.

The Competition Authority of Kenya has approved the acquisition of Air Connection by Panalpina Airflo Ltd, Panalpina Airflo BV and Panalpina Kenya Ltd, but ordered the acquirers to retain at least 95% of the employees of Air Connection for at least one year after the transaction's completion date.

The competition authority has imposed a similar condition on K+N’s takeover of Trillvane Ltd, again stating that the purchasers “shall retain employees of the Trillvane for at least one year after the date of completion of the transaction”.

Switzerland-headquartered Panalpina announced the Air Connection proposed takeover, subject to conditions, in May this year.

The deal came two years after Panalpina increased its presence in Kenyan flower logistics by acquiring perishables specialist Airflo, Kenya’s second largest airfreight forwarder, and only two weeks after Panalpina formally announced the launch of its global Perishables Network.

K+N, also based in Switzerland, announced its proposed Trillvane in July this year, again subject to conditions.

At the time of the deal, K+N stated that the acquisition of Trillvane will enable the logistics giant to “strengthen its position in perishables operations between Kenya and Europe, in particular to the UK”.

It continued: “With its 130 employees Trillvane is specialised in the export of flowers and vegetables. Its location at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi provides easy and quick access to all major airlines allowing for later cut-offs and shorter transit times leading to both cost savings and optimal handling of temperature sensitive goods.”

When Panalpina announced its Air Connection deal, chief executive Stefan Karlenstated: “The acquisition of Air Connection will strengthen our existing global Perishables Network and our position as the clear market leader in the perishables arena in Kenya.

“Air Connection is specialised in the export of flowers and vegetables from Kenya to multiple destinations including the Netherlands and the UK, and is currently the country’s fourth largest forwarder in terms of air freight export volumes. The merged company will handle around 70,000 tons of perishables air freight per year.”

Manjit Brar, owner and managing director of Air Connection, said at the time: “While most of Panalpina’s flower exports from Kenya currently go to auctions in Amsterdam, we are specialised in direct shipments to customers. And while Panalpina is strong with big charter shipments from Kenya to Europe, our strength lies in smaller shipments on scheduled passenger flights to over 150 destinations worldwide.”

Read more Perishables Logistics News