Unifeeder And Feederlink Unite In Northern Europe
By Pritha Dey
Unifeeder A/S is pleased to announce that it has reached agreement to acquire Feederlink Shipping & Trading b.v. (Feederlink) from Irish Continental Group, plc (ICG).
The combined entity will be able to provide very attractive feeder and shortsea networks between the major ports in Northern Europe through efficient operations, high frequency, competitive rates and a further strengthening of the well known service levels of the two companies.
Unifeeder, the asset light logistics company, is one of Northern Europe’s leading feeder operators transporting containers from the large European container hubs in Belgium, England, Germany and the Netherlands to more than 35 regional ports across the UK, the Nordic Region, the Baltic States and Russia. Unifeeder’s feeder operations are complemented by its fast growing door-to-door multimodal container transport business. In 2011, Unifeeder had sales of about €430 million.
Feederlink is a commercial feeder operator with a strong reputation in the market for its consistent high quality and service level. The company transports containers between the hubs of Felixstowe and Rotterdam and the UK ports of Grangemouth, South Shields, Teesport and Immingham.
Feederlink was founded in 1993 (by the late Harry Kleipas) and prides itself on the service offered to its customers on a consistent basis since its establishment. Feederlink is headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands with local representation throughout the UK. In 2011 Feederlink achieved sales of about €22 million.
The merger of Unifeeder’s and Feederlink’s operations is first and foremost implemented in order to achieve operational synergies while at the same time improving the product offering to customers in the feeder and shortsea market. The combined entity will be beneficial to all stakeholders, from customers to employees, suppliers and the environment. The integration of the two companies will focus on providing a more attractive product and service offering with efficient operations, high frequency, competitive rates, superior port coverage and further strengthening of the well known service levels of the two companies.
The joint network will improve the value proposition for inter-European cargo and thereby support initiatives to move cargo from road to sea. Transporting containers by sea instead of road is the most environmentally friendly transportation method, and Unifeeder and Feederlink will continue to promote this form of transportation
The CEO of Unifeeder, Jesper Kristensen, commented “the acquisition of Feederlink by Unifeeder shows our commitment to continuously improving our Northern European network and providing customers with attractive transportation options throughout the region. The combination of our two companies will enable us to improve the product offering for our customers, who in the future will experience an improved Northern European feeder and shortsea network with better transit times, frequency and port coverage. Ensuring long term competitiveness through economies of scale is of great importance to both Unifeeder and our clients – especially in times like these. This transaction is therefore of large strategic value to Unifeeder, and we will continue to look for options to participate in the necessary consolidation of the feeder and shortsea sector in order to provide our customers with an attractive and competitive product.”
“Feederlink and Unifeeder share a strong dedication to provide high quality services to our customers, and the combination of our companies will contribute positively to the further development of container transportation in Northern Europe. Together with Ingrid Van Mil and our other dedicated Feederlink employees, I am looking forward to ensuring a successful integration of the combined entity and the continuation of our dedication to serve our customers well” said Rob Mulder, CEO of Feederlink.
Eamonn Rothwell, CEO of ICG, commented “The Irish Continental Group has always managed Feederlink with a strong focus on very high customer service standards, and I believe that Unifeeder with its similar approach to quality and service is well suited to continue this tradition for the benefit of our customers.”
The transaction is expected to complete by Mid-Autumn 2012 and is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approval.