DSV Ups Pressure on Panalpina With Sweetened All-Cash Offer

(Bloomberg) -- DSV A/S sweetened its takeover offer for Panalpina Welttransport Holding AG, now worth $4.3 billion, piling pressure on the Swiss freight forwarder that’s seeking a tie-up with Kuwaiti logistics provider Agility to fend off the Danish approach.

DSV is aware that Panalpina has made public its plans to pursue a “private combination” with Agility and continues to “carefully review the situation,” it said in a statement on Friday. The revised 180-franc all-cash offer was presented on Feb. 6 in response to feedback from Panalpina’s board, including employee safeguards, DSV added.

The Danish company’s latest unsolicited proposal coincides with push-back from some investors that Panalpina lacks the experience to take on a combination with Agility. By contrast, most analysts have applauded the prospect of a DSV deal that would bring a boost in both air-cargo volumes and ocean-going containers, complementing the Danish group’s strength in road shipments.

Shares of Panalpina have had a volatile morning, declining at the open of Zurich’s stock exchange, followed by a suspension. They resumed trading with a jump of 9.3 percent, and closed up 4.8 percent at 156.10 francs.

DSV Ups Pressure on Panalpina With Sweetened All-Cash Offer

Panalpina said earlier Friday that talks with Agility about "potential strategic opportunities with regard to their respective logistics businesses" are at a preliminary stage and that it’s still reviewing an approach by DSV. The previous bid by DSV, rejected on Feb. 4 by Panalpina’s biggest shareholder, the Ernst Goehner Foundation, was a 170-franc cash-and-stock offer.

A Panalpina-Agility tie-up is “highly risky” in the face of a certain, “un-risked 180 Swiss franc offer” from DSV, N. David Samra, managing director at Artisan Partners LP, a top Panalpina shareholder, said in a telephone interview late Thursday, echoing the sentiment of others.

Read More: DSV’s Revised $4.3 Billion Panalpina Bid Is Higher Only on Paper

DSV will be keen to nail down this deal after unsuccessfully pursuing another Swiss company, Ceva Logistics AG, with a sweetened offer worth $1.7 billion. DSV said then it would pursue other targets.

Panalpina has been bracing investors for a bold move to address doubts about its capacity to integrate a bigger player. Unlike DSV, it only has a track record of doing smaller deals. The firm is prepared to make a transformational acquisition that could be partly financed by selling debt, Chief Executive Officer Stefan Karlen said in a phone interview on Feb. 13.

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