Why GXO Logistics Is Shopping for Clipper Logistics


Barely six months after it was spun off from XPO LogisticsGXO Logistics ( GXO 3.70% ) seems to be able to make its first large mergers and acquisition (M&A) deal.

In accordance with a press launch final weekend, GXO, which is the biggest pure-play contract logistics firm on this planet, agreed to a “doable supply” to amass U.Ok-based Clipper Logistics ( CLG 0.35% ) for the equal of 920 pence ($1.25) per share, or roughly $1.3 billion — 690 pence in money and the rest in GXO inventory. In accordance with U.Ok. legislation, GXO needed to announce that the deal was in negotiations after information broke within the media.

It is not stunning to see GXO pursue such a deal. M&A is within the firm’s genetics. It was spun off from XPO Logistics, which got here to be one of many largest transportation firms within the U.S. by means of a roll-up technique, buying smaller firms to realize scale. GXO chief funding officer Mark Manduca has additionally made references to the fragmented nature of the logistics business, implying that there is a possibility for consolidation and for GXO to make the most of its dimension and technological prowess.

Buyers had little response to the information as GXO inventory was basically unchanged on Tuesday, however the deal seems to be like a sensible transfer due to the advantages to GXO from the mixture. However earlier than discussing the impression of a deal, let’s step again and try Clipper.

A GXO warehouse

A GXO warehouse. Picture supply: GXO Logistics.

What’s Clipper Logistics?

Clipper, listed on the London Inventory Alternate, is not acquainted to most U.S. buyers. The corporate was based in 1992 with only a single driver, and has grown over time to generate near $1 billion in annual income. Although its operations are primarily targeted on the U.Ok., with 85% of income coming from its dwelling nation, the corporate has 55 services throughout Europe and practically 12 million sq. toes of warehouse area.

Clipper has additionally been rising quickly, with income up 33% within the first half of its fiscal 2022, which ended Oct. 31, 2021. Progress in e-commerce and reverse logistics — dealing with returns for e-commerce, for instance — has been significantly robust. Each e-commerce and reverse logistics have been focal factors for GXO. In its most up-to-date fiscal yr, 69% of Clipper’s income got here from e-commerce and reverse logistics, a lovely function for GXO, which reported 45% e-commerce progress and 28% reverse logistics progress in its personal fourth-quarter report.

Clipper has a strong observe report of profitability and money technology with 77.3 million kilos ($105 million) in free money stream final yr, equal to an 11% free-cash-flow margin. Manduca, GXO’s chief funding officer, stated in an interview with The Motley Idiot that its margins had been one of many components that attracted GXO, and he famous its robust return on invested capital of greater than 30%.

Lastly, Clipper has a variety of shoppers, together with main U.Ok. firms like ASOS, British American Tobacco, and Marks & Spencer, and French firm L’Oreal.

The way it suits with GXO

As a result of ongoing nature of the transaction, GXO couldn’t be particular on how a lot in synergy prices it hopes to attain. However the firm sees a number of advantages, together with price financial savings in procurement and operations, and there are essential complementary facets between the 2 firms’ buyer bases geographically and in business verticals.

Clipper will give GXO a horde of recent clients in e-commerce and reverse logistics, that are key progress markets for GXO and ones the place it is invested considerably in know-how like collaborative robots.

Clipper’s particular person clients have little overlap with GXO’s however share the identical geographies, which is able to assist drive synergies and progress. Clipper’s concentrate on the U.Ok., which is now GXO’s greatest nation by income, will assist speed up GXO’s progress in one of many world’s most penetrated e-commerce markets. And Clipper has a presence in Germany, Poland, and the Netherlands, three international locations that GXO has been wanting to increase its presence in.

So far as business verticals, Clipper can be robust in life sciences, which typically refers to prescription drugs and biotech, giving GXO a presence in a helpful business that it has been trying to construct its place in. Considered one of Clipper’s greatest clients is the U.Ok.’s Nationwide Well being Companies.

Manduca defined that there are sometimes regulatory hurdles to offering logistics within the life sciences business and that it requires “excessive mental acumen” to get into. Because the life sciences business represents trillions of {dollars} in market cap, unlocking that chance might assist GXO faucet a big new market.

It is unclear when the deal would possibly shut, however the probability that it’ll go ahead appears excessive as insiders representing 23% of the share possession have already irrevocably voted in favor of the deal. 

No acquisition is with out dangers, however given GXO’s observe report, Clipper’s personal robust efficiency, and the complementary facets between the 2 firms, the merger is prone to be successful.


This text represents the opinion of the author, who might disagree with the “official” advice place of a Motley Idiot premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one among our personal – helps us all assume critically about investing and make selections that assist us turn into smarter, happier, and richer.


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