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.
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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