Germany’s Rhenus Group is in acquisitive mode – which will no doubt itself attract interest from the increasingly M&A-focused logistics market. 

This week the company snapped up not one, but two forwarders, strengthening its global network. 

Today, it announced it had acquired South Africa’s World Net Logistics, which not only has operations in Africa but also Germany, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore. 

World Net Logistics offers air freight between South Africa and Germany, and ocean between its home country and China, Germany and the UK.

It also has its own vehicle fleet and warehousing in South Africa, where it serves the automotive, healthcare, electronics, FCMG and retail sectors. 

“The takeover of World Net Logistics marks an important step for us in establishing a network in South Africa and other African countries. WNL’s presence in Asia and Europe also strengthens our global network with additional intercontinental connections. We are confident that we will grow further together and that within the Rhenus Group, WNL will continue to develop sustainably,” says Tobias Bartz, a Rhenus board member. 

The news follows an announcement earlier this week that the group had also acquired Rodair, a Canadian forwarder. 

“Being integrated into the Rhenus Group enables us to become part of an entrepreneurial global enterprise with depth expertise and passion which offers us the best prospects for long-term and sustainable development,” said Jeff Cullen, CEO of Rodair. 

This investment in growth, people and technology also offers a wider range of individual opportunities to our employees and will also be for the benefit of our present and future customers.” 

Rhenus Group is in the midst of major expansion plans, buying forwarders and brokers around the world. Last year, the group acquired Italy’s Cesped, Avant Air & Sea in Ireland and Brazil’s Pirâmide SeaAir. 

Its rapid expansion will likely put it in the frame for takeover talk by others. With a heavy German presence and annual turnover of some €4.8bn, it could be an attractive prospect.

Since 1998 it has been owned by Rethmann, a family-owned holding company with three independent divisions, and also includes food group Saria and recycling, water and services company Remondis. 

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