K+N - Geel, Belgium, Expansions

Kuehne + Nagel (K+N) has acquired time-critical transport and logistics operator Quick International Courier (QIC), as it looks to expand its reach in the pharma and healthcare markets.

K+N chief executive Detlef Trefzger said the acquisition would help accelerate K+N’s growth in pharma, with board member for air freight Yngve Ruud describing it as a “milestone” purchase.

“With unique expertise in time-critical shipments in aviation and pharma – key strategic focus and investment areas – the company perfectly complements our existing global portfolio,” said Mr Ruud.

“Our customers will benefit from a greater scope of services for time-critical shipments, while QIC’s customers will get access to K+N’s global network across more than 100 countries.”

K+N noted QIC’s specialism in urgent, global shipments using a series of control towers around the world.

Its CEO, Dominique Bischoff-Brown, said he looked forward to becoming part of the K+N group as “new worldwide growth perspectives” would open up.

New York-headquartered QIC has more than 500 employees working across four subsidiary divisions, which collectively last year turned over more than $200m.

The Loadstar Premium analyst Ale Pasetti said: “Between 2010 and 2017 K+N will have closed well over 10-bolt on deals, perhaps 20, adding little shareholder value through the process. “It’s a drop in the ocean in terms of revenue add-on at group level.”

The deal will, however, strengthen K+N’s airfreight offering.

Closing conditions remain subject to regulatory compliance, with both parties agreeing not to disclose the purchase price.

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