XPO Logistics considers selling business units

By Damian Brett

XPO Logistics is considering the sale or spin off of one or more of its business units as it believes its shares are trading below expectation.

The logistics company said yesterday that its board has authorised a strategic review of the business.

“We continue to trade at well below the sum of our parts and at a significant discount to our pure-play peers,” said Bradley Jacobs, XPO Logistics chairman and chief executive.

“That’s why we believe the best way to continue to maximize shareholder value is to explore our options, while remaining intensely committed to the satisfaction of our customers and employees.”

The company has not set a timetable for completion of the review process and has not determined which, if any, business units would be sold or spun off. However, the company does not intend to sell or spin off its North American less-than-truckload unit.

David Kerstens of investment bank Jefferies said that it believes XPO’s contract logistics is also core (35%) and expects the strategic review to focus on European transport (16%), North American freight brokerage & expedite (15%), intermodal (6%) and last mile (6%).

Looking at potential interest, Kerstens said: “We think there will likely be healthy interest in XPO’s assets under review, as the fragmented logistics industry is expected to continue to consolidate.

“DSV Panalpina has emerged as one of the leading consolidators, after the takeovers of UTi and Panalpina, and its new chairman recently earmarked road freight as the area for further expansion.

“Maersk recently confirmed its strategy to grow land-based container logistics from 25% to 50% of revenues through bolt-on M&A, focusing on supply chain management, container truck freight and warehouse capacity.”

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