Regulators give Japan Post green light to buy Toll Group

Regulators give Japan Post green light to buy Toll Group

Regulators in Japan have given the go-ahead to Japan Post’s proposal to buy Australia-based logistics giant Toll Group. State-owned Japan Post offered $5bn for the Melbourne-based company in February, in an effort to expand its international business considerably on the road to becoming a significant global logistics player.

Listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, Toll Group had sales of about $6.9bn (USD) and profits of about $229m in 2014. The company has a large presence in the energy industry logistics arena, and has been building a presence in the Australian e-commerce home delivery market.

By buying Toll Group, Japan Post could immediately increase its own revenue by as much as 30%.

Today, Toll Group said it has received confirmation from the Japan Fair Trade Commission that it will not object to the proposed A$9.04 per share cash acquisition.

The acquisition now requires the approval of Toll Group shareholders to proceed. A meeting is scheduled for 13 May 2015.

Commenting on the decision by the Japanese competition regulator, Toll Group managing director Brian Kruger said: “We welcome this positive step by the Japan Fair Trade Commission and are continuing with the process in relation to the proposed acquisition by Japan Post. In particular this week, we have mailed our Scheme Booklet and Notice of Meeting to all Toll Shareholders.”

Toll Group

Operating mainly in the Asia-Pacific region, Toll Group includes five operating divisions — Toll Global Express, Toll Domestic Forwarding, Toll Global Forwarding, Toll Global Logistics and Toll Resources and Government Logistics.

Toll Global Express is an express freight operator in Australia, offering same day and overnight delivery for parcels, documents and freight. Toll Domestic Forwarding provides full and partial load freight forwarding across Australia and New Zealand.

Toll Global Forwarding provides freight forwarding and supply chain services in Australia/New Zealand, China, South-East Asia, the Middle East, India, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

Toll Global Logistics is a full-service contract logistics and warehouse services provider operating across the Asia Pacific region.

Toll Resources and Government Logistics provides logistics services to the mining, energy, government and defence sectors in Australia, Asia and Africa.

Acquisition

Expectations are that the acquisition could be implemented on 28 May, 2015, with the company subsequently delisted from the ASX.

Documents sent to shareholders this month stated that Japan Post “does not intend to alter materially Tolls business bases and locations, nor does it intend to undertake any material downsizing or outsourcing of operations to overseas”.

Following the takeover, Brian Kruger is expected to remain as chief executive of Toll Group, reporting to Japan Post chief executive Toru Takahashi.

In the documentation sent to shareholders earlier this month, Toll chairman Ray Horsburgh said the Japan Post offer was “compelling” and recognised the value of the “iconic” Australian logistics business.

“The proposed acquisition of Toll is regarded by Japan Post as an important step by Japan Post to become a leading global logistics player. If the Scheme is approved and implemented, Japan Post has indicated that it intends that Toll will be run as a division within Japan Post spearheading its global operations and will retain the Toll name,” Horsburgh said.

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