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French transport and logistics group Geodis is to acquire a controlling stake in Polish road freight operator Pekaes from investment group Innova for an undisclosed sum.

Established in 1958, Pekaes operates one of the leading full truckload (FTL), less-than-truckload (LTL) and groupage networks in Poland, serving around 10,000 shippers a year across its 20 branches.

After a transformation in 2009, it expanded services to include intermodal road-rail transport and sea-air freight forwarding, and employs around 1,200 people.

Although Geodis CEO Marie-Christine Lombard has previously told The Loadstar it was primarily targeting M&A opportunities in Germany, the Netherlands, China and the US, the takeover of Pekaes fits with its stated aim of making continental Europe “its second home market”.

“This acquisition is a major step forward to consolidate Geodis’s presence in this region, which we consider strategic for the group’s development,” Ms Lombard said today.

“Pekaes has an excellent local geographical coverage and its team is well recognised for its professionalism. Our complementary customer portfolios and combined capabilities will allow us to offer Polish companies extensive international opportunities, while our customers will benefit from Pekaes’ expertise in Poland, which is the third largest logistics market in Europe,” she added.

The business will fall under the Geodis Road Transport business headed by Olivier Royer, Geodis executive vice president for road transport.

Krzysztof Kulig, senior partner at Innova Capital, said: “The scale of Pekaes’s success, transformation and bold expansion on the challenging Polish and international logistics market, which attracted the interest of Geodis, could not have been possible without the hard work of the Innova Capital team. We’ve built a logistics heavyweight, and the strength and resilience of the business was demonstrated by the negligible impact of the pandemic on results.”

Innova is selling a 65.41% stake in Pekaes, and the takeover remains subject to regulatory clearance.

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