Airlines quiet, but KPMG sees busy year for mergers in 2016

There were relatively few airline mergers and acquisitions in 2015, reported analyst KPMG in its latest Transport Tracker.
Activity, at £3.1bn ($4.4bn) of completed transactions, remained low mainly primarily because of restrictions on foreign ownership of airlines by governments, it said.
Meanwhile, though, airlines will continue to push co-operation through alliances and partnerships. Examples in 2016 include the joint venture between Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines, and the alliance between IAG and LATAM in South America.
In contrast, completed freight and logistics mergers and acquisitions more than quadrupled from £7.2bn ($10.2bn) in 2013 to £31.4bn ($44.7) in 2015, with a further £33.2bn ($47.2) of transactions announced during the year, KPMG continued.
The most popular targets for large logistics providers and freight forwarders were asset-light logistics operators with advanced IT systems although there is evidence that “leaner” logisticians are looking for assets and reliable networks too – for example, UPS’s purchase of US logistics company Coyote Logistics for £1.2bn ($1.7bn), and the takeover of the French forwarder Norbert Dentressangle by XPO Logistics for £1.8bn ($2.6bn).
Following Japan Post purchase of Australia’s Toll Logistics for £3.3bn (US$4.7) in 2015, the expected completion of FedEx’s £3.1bn ($4.4bn) purchase of TNT will set the tone for 2016, it added. KPMG expects transport sector deals to top 2015’s £48bn ($68bn) and break through the £52bn ($74bn) barrier. 

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