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The distinction between forwarders and handlers is becoming increasingly blurred, following two acquisitions in the past week.
Dnata strengthened its position in forwarding by purchasing the remaining 50% of both Dubai Express and Freightworks and a 25.5% share in Bolloré UAE.
As a result, Dnata is now the sole owner of Dubai Express and Freightworks and has a majority stake of 51% in Bolloré Logistics UAE.
Senior VP Bernd Leo Struck said: “This strategic investment underlines Dnata’s commitment to the freight forwarding industry and its growing importance.
“We are driven to provide superior services to the regional market as well the worldwide network of Bolloré Transport & Logistics as its regional partner.”
The Dubai-based handler acquired its latest stake in Bolloré from joint-venture partner Kanoo Group and, despite its majority share, Dnata said the UAE operation would continue to be controlled by France-based Bolloré Group.
Meanwhile, Europa Worldwide announced it was bolstering its handling operations through the acquisition of warehousing.
The forwarder bought the Northamptonshire warehouse from Menzies Distribution subsidiary Response, expanding its warehousing operations to three.
Managing director Andrew Baxter said: “The acquisition is a great start to the year for Europa, further adding to our growing portfolio.
“The assets are a perfect fit to strengthen, develop and grow the business, and [we] will take over the existing customer base and 90 employees, with business continuing as normal.”
Neither Dnata nor Europa have disclosed the cost of their latest acquisitions, but said the moves continued growth plans. In 2017, Europa announced an “ambitious” annual acquisition project, which began in May when it acquired Belgian part- and full-load operator Continental Cargo.
“We are pretty open-minded in terms of acquisition targets and we are looking to develop all of our international markets,” explained Mr Baxter. “As long as the business adds strength to our market position in one of our core sectors, then we are happy.”