Home Estate Planning GXO poised for Wincanton takeover after CMA CGM dips out of bidding war

GXO poised for Wincanton takeover after CMA CGM dips out of bidding war

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French container shipping firm CMA CGM has ditched its pursuit of one of Britain’s largest logistics companies, paving the way for a takeover bid from rival GXO.

The news comes only a few days after GXO, the owner of Clipper Logistics, announced a £764m swoop for Wincanton, which valued the company at 605p a share in cash.

CMA CGM had proposed an offer of £605m, or 480p per share, and had received backing from Wincanton’s top brass. It had initially tabled 450p a share in January through its subsidary, Ceva logistics, but upped its bid late last month.

The acquisition price tabled by GXO was 26 per cent above Ceva’s offer and is around seven times Wincanton’s annual EBITDA.

“It is CEVA’s intention that the increased and final offer will lapse in due course,” CMA CGM said in a statement on the London Stock Exchange.

It added: “CEVA felt that the increased and final offer represented a very attractive opportunity for all Wincanton stakeholders, notably its employees, clients and the Wincanton shareholders.”

It means Wincanton is highly likely to fall into the hands of GXO, which has its headquarters in Connecticut in the United States.

Shares in the British logistics specialist dipped on the news, falling over 4 per cent by late afternoon.

The bidding war falls amid a number of takeover bids for UK-listed firms in recent months from foreign buyers.

Currys said it had rejected a £700m offer from Waterstones owner Elliot Advisors in early February. Direct Line last week shunned a £3.1bn proposal from its Belgian peer.

And car dealer Lookers was taken off the London Stock Exchange in December after agreeing a deal with Canada’s Global Auto Holdings, following a drawn-out bidding war between a number of international firms.

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