A response to DSV’s Sfr170 per share bid for Panalpina is expected on Friday – but analysts and investors are increasingly asking who, exactly, will respond.

Last week’s news that DSV was looking to buy the Swiss 3PL triggered a flurry of talk about the deal, while Panalpina issued a simple statement saying it was considering the merits of the offer.

However, crucially, there has as yet been no response from the Swiss forwarder’s 45.9% controlling shareholder, the Ernst Göhner Foundation.

Sources told The Loadstar the foundation was doing its own, independent, due diligence on the deal, on the advice of Goldman Sachs. Panalpina’s board, meanwhile, is conducting its own research, advised by UBS.

Sources have suggested that the dual approach to the offer “is a bit messy”, and indicates that the controlling entity, the foundation, needs to be independently convinced of the merits of a deal before Panalpina’s board can make any decision.

As the Loadstar Premium article, published earlier today, reveals, it seems likely the initial proposal will be rejected by the foundation. But a “sweetened” deal – which may comprise a higher cash offer and less equity – may well see Panalpina subsumed into DSV.

Unless, of course, Kuehne + Nagel, which is thought to have begun to offer jobs to former staff now at Panalpina, takes a step towards a “friendly takeover”, thus re-uniting scores of executives who have worked for both companies in the past.

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