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XPO pulls divestiture of European transportation unit

‘Weakened capital markets in Europe’ cited

XPO's efforts to establish a pure-play less-than-truckload business put on pause. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday after the market closed, XPO announced it has pulled a planned divestiture of its European transportation unit due to the deterioration in capital markets.

“Due primarily to weakened capital markets in Europe, the company does not currently expect to divest its European business in the near term. The company does not undertake to provide any further updates on the status of the plan, except as may be required by applicable law,” a brief statement read.

Macroeconomic uncertainties and interest rate hikes to combat inflation across the globe are starting to sour investors’ appetites for risk, crimping deal flow.  

Exactly two years ago, XPO announced it would break up the transportation and logistics conglomerate it had amassed by acquiring a variety of assets over the last decade. The goal was to establish separate best-in-class entities garnering higher valuation multiples.

As part of the breakup, XPO spun off its contract logistics unit, now GXO (NYSE: GXO), in summer 2021. It sold its intermodal unit in March. Last month, it spun off RXO (NYSE: RXO), the nation’s fourth-largest truckload brokerage.

The last hurdle was making XPO a pure-play less-than-truckload business by jettisoning the $3 billion European segment, which it previously said it would accomplish through a sale or public listing on a European stock exchange.

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Todd Maiden

Based in Richmond, VA, Todd is the finance editor at FreightWaves. Prior to joining FreightWaves, he covered the TLs, LTLs, railroads and brokers for RBC Capital Markets and BB&T Capital Markets. Todd began his career in banking and finance before moving over to transportation equity research where he provided stock recommendations for publicly traded transportation companies.