PostNL acquires trans-o-flex operations in Netherlands and Belgium

PostNL Parcels has moved to strengthen its position in the Benelux region with the acquisition of trans-o-flex operations in the Netherlands and Belgium. The Dutch postal service agreed with trans-o-flex Group owner Austrian Post to keep the details of the transaction confidential.

Trans-o-flex Netherlands and Belgium had combined revenues of about EUR 50m in 2011, shipping a little more than 14m parcels and 550,000 pallets during the year.

The operations include a workforce of about 250 people based at nine depots, including a new central hub in Den Bosch, Netherlands.

PostNL said the acquisition would give it a stronger presence in particularly business-to-business parcels and logistics, adding particularly to its capabilities in the pharmaceutical and consumer electronics segments.

The company said there would be some cost synergies in the extended operations for business-to-consumer services as well.

The acquisition also hands PostNL a 7.2% shareholding in the pan-European EURODIS logistics network, which operates through a partnership of independent operators in 34 countries.

“Immediate presence”

Herna Verhagen, the PostNL Board member, said: “This transaction provides us with immediate presence in the Belgian business-to-business market. Our existing Dutch B2B activities are instantaneously complemented with almost 50% more capacity for multi-colli, palletised shipments.

“Developing our network with B2B capabilities enables us to meet an increasing demand from our business customers, while reaching cost synergies by integrating our 2C and 2B networks,” added Verhagen.

trans-o-flex Group customers will benefit in the Benelux countries, said PostNL, from the “strong logistics solutions” from both companies.

Austrian Post’s parcel and logistics subsidiary has recently been strengthening its own operations in the pharmaceutical sector with its ThermoMed service, including through the acquisition of Austrian temperature-controlled logistics specialist Scherübl Transport last year, and through partnerships with firms in France and Denmark.

The company said of its sale of its Dutch and Belgian operations that it was part of the company’s “structural reorientation”, and that its customers could still access Belgium and Holland via the EURODIS network.

“We are happy to have found a strong partner for the Benelux region in PostNL,” said Peter Umundum, the Austrian Post board member.

“This structural reorientation is a win-win situation. As a result, we can offer an excellent logistics solution for Belgium and the Netherlands to our customers in Germany and Austria. Furthermore, we expect a strengthening of the EURODIS network.”

Board member

Separately, PostNL said this week it is proposing a new member for its Supervisory Board at the upcoming AGM next month.

Frank Rövekamp currently serves on the boards of software company UNIT4, the Dutch Refugee Council and the Castle de Haar foundation. PostNL said he has “extensive international experience in the telecoms, technology and travel industry”.

If approved, Rövekamp would take over from R.J.N. Abrahamsen, who reaches his maximum term of office next month.

PostNL also wants to re-appoint P.C.Klaver to its Supervisory Board at the annual general meeting in The Hague on April 24.

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