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DSV Panalpina to pause acquisitions

Chairman says focus will be on Panalpina integration over the next 12-18 months; strengthening road division may be goal of next acquisition.

Image: Flickr/BriYYZ Chairman of DSV Panalpina says next acquisition may be aimed at strenghtening road business.

An interview with DSV Panalpina’s new chairman posted on the Danish company’s website says the company’s management will “focus 100% on the integration of Panalpina” for 12 to 18 months before thinking about another acquisition. DSV completed the acquisition of Switzerland’s Panalpina in August.

“Once we’re 12-18 months into the integration of Panalpina and we can affirm we’re on track, then I think we’ll start to talk about the possibility of boosting organic growth through another M&A. The industry is still very fragmented and there’s lots of scope for further consolidation,” said Thomas Plenborg, who was named chairman of the Copenhagen-based logistics company in September after Kurt Larsen retired at the company’s annual meeting last month.

“Now is not the time for a lot of new initiatives. We’ve made the biggest acquisition in the history of DSV, and we’ve made a promise to our shareholders that we can successfully integrate Panalpina,” said Plenborg, who is a professor of accounting at Copenhagen Business School. “We are fully committed to delivering on that promise and believe in the many synergies that can come from the combination: better and more services, stronger networks, greater buying power. … The business case is solid, and I believe it’ll be absolutely amazing once the integration is complete.”

Since 2000, DSV has grown aggressively through the acquisitions of DFDS Dan Transport Group, Frans Maas, ABX, UTi Worldwide and Panalpina.

Looking to the future, Thomas said larger rather than smaller acquisitions will be targeted and that additions within its road division are likely to be on the radar next.

“When the road division’s new transport management system is fully developed and ready to scale, additions within this business area will be attractive for us. It’s all about increasing our network — within road as well,” he said.

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.