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Norbert Dentressangle makes major US acquisition

Norbert Dentressangle makes major US acquisition

Norbert Dentressangle and the private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners have signed an agreement to acquire the US logistics and transport company Jacobson.

The cash transaction - which is expected to close mid-September 2014, and is subject to regulatory approvals - is valued at $750m (€560m), with a capped earn-out relating to future performance.

Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Des Moines, IA, Jacobson is one of the largest value-added warehousing 3PL providers in North America with integrated domestic transportation management capabilities, with annual turnover of approximately $800m in 2013, 9.5% EBITDA margin, and 5,500 employees.

It operates two divisions with nationwide coverage: Contract Logistics Services, with 3m sq m of warehousing across 142 sites; and Transportation, with a fleet of 350 tractor units and 1,225 trailers. The company has a strong expertise and market position in industry verticals such as Food and Beverages, Chemicals, Agriculture, Consumer Goods, and Durables.

Jacobson serves more than 1,800 customers in the US with a focus on added-value services (co-packing, co-manufacturing, reverse logistics, etc.) and is recognised for its quality of service.

The transaction increases the scale of Norbert Dentressangle, both globally with +15% in revenue growth reaching €5bn annual turnover, and also in the US logistics and transport market, where the group becomes scalable with approximately $800m of gross revenues in 2013.

It allows Norbert Dentressangle to expand its geographical footprint in the fast-growing US logistics and transport market and also gives significant room for further development. With 14% of annual consolidated turnover, it moves the US to the third-largest operating country for Norbert Dentressangle.

By including the current Air & Sea presence of Norbert Dentressangle in the US, the combination creates real opportunities to offer fully integrated value-added services to its customers and those of Jacobson, both in the US domestic market and globally. In addition to the current development opportunities in the growing US market, the operation will create new cross selling business opportunities, with respective customers and strengthened expertise in key selected vertical markets.

The operation will allow the sharing of best practice (engineering, IT and automation process) and further expansion for co-packing activities, reverse logistics and e-commerce logistics, particularly in contract logistics.

Hervé Montjotin, CEO of Norbert Dentressangle, said: “The acquisition of Jacobson is a key milestone in Norbert Dentressangle’s development strategy to become a top-tier player in global supply-chain management and a step change in expanding our global reach. As a leading contract logistics provider in the buoyant US logistics and transport sector, Jacobson is an ideal strategic fit for Norbert Dentressangle.

"Jacobson’s success has been founded on core traditions of operational excellence and customer focus, and it has built a strong track record of growth and profitability. Its entrepreneurial spirit and management team will fit perfectly with the Norbert Dentressangle Group.”

“We are very pleased to become part of Norbert Dentressangle, an important player in the European logistics and transport market and a company whose culture and values are highly complementary to our own,” said Tony Tegnelia, COO and Co-President of Jacobson. “We value the opportunity to join a thriving organisation that will enable us to offer an enhanced suite of global services to our customers.”

Denis Nayden, Chairman of Jacobson and a Managing Partner of Oak Hill Capital commented, “Since partnering with Jacobson, we have worked closely with its management team to build the company into a leader in supply chain management and 3PL in the US. Now as part of Norbert Dentressangle, Jacobson is positioned to be a cornerstone of a world-class organisation.”

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