Kuehne + Nagel sells minority stake in Apex

Kuehne + Nagel has agreed to sell a 24.9% stake in recently acquired Apex International to private equity firm Partners Group.

The freight forwarder said that following the deal, he will work alongside Partners Group to implement a “transformational value creation plan” for the China-based freight forwarder with key initiatives, including the establishment of new freight transit routes; the identification of new vertical growth sectors, such as healthcare; and mergers and acquisitions.

Partners Group will also join majority shareholder Kuehne + Nagel Group with a seat on the Apex Board of Directors.

Yngve Ruud, Executive Vice President of Air Logistics, Kuehne + Nagel International and President of Apex, said: “By combining the financial and strategic expertise of Partners Group with the legacy and experience of Kuehne + Nagel, Apex will have access to a powerful partnership to consolidate our position in China and further develop the Company. “

Sheng Liu, Managing Director, Private Equity, Partners Group, added, “We started tracking Apex’s development after identifying it through our thematic investing approach several years ago. Apex is benefiting from the rise of cross-border e-commerce – a key transformative trend that has accelerated in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. “

Kuehne + Nagel completed the acquisition of 88.5% of the capital of Apex International in May in a deal worth around CHF 1.1 billion as part of efforts to expand its presence in Asia.

Apex, headquartered in Shanghai, is one of Asia’s leading freight forwarders, particularly on trans-Pacific and intra-Asian trade routes. The company has approximately 1,600 employees at 41 sites. In 2020, Apex generated sales of 2.2 billion Swiss francs, gross profit of 296 million Swiss francs and pre-tax profit of 126 million Swiss francs and ranked seventh in terms of volume global air freight.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including authorization from the competent merger control authorities.

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