FedEx closes deal to acquire Poland-based Opek

When FedEx first announced this deal in April, it said it is part of its growth strategy in Europe and is expected to supplement FedEx’ service portfolio in Poland.

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Following an April announcement in which it said it had agreed to acquire Poland-based courier company Opek Sp.Z o.o., FedEx said today that the deal is now official, with Opek now in the fold as part of FedEx’ FedEx Express unit.

When FedEx first announced this deal in April, it said it is part of its growth strategy in Europe and is expected to supplement FedEx’ service portfolio in Poland.

Established in 1994, Opek’s domestic ground network covers all of Poland, with the company having an estimated $70 million in annual revenue and 12.5 million annual shipments. It has an automated hub in Lomianki, which is near Warsaw, and hubs in Lodz and Katowice, with a total of 44 stations in the country, more than 1,200 employees, and more than 1,300 contracted drivers.

“FedEx has been active in Poland for 23 years,” a company spokesperson told LM. “This acquisition will allow FedEx to improve our service proposition even further in Poland. With this acquisition, we will continue to invest in the long-term growth in Poland and enhance our network in Eastern Europe.”

In terms of customer benefits as a result of this acquisition, the spokesperson explained that customers from both companies will benefit from the acquisition, once it is closed. FedEx customers will benefit from Opek’s well-established domestic network in Poland, and Opek’s customers will get direct access to the global FedEx network.

The spokesperson added that FedEx is keen to benefit from the well-established network of Opek, as well as from the workforce and professional knowledge of the employees and also noted that for now we do not anticipate any changes in terms of personnel regarding this acquisition.

“With Poland being one of the leading economies in Central and Eastern Europe, the Polish market offers tremendous opportunities for customers wishing to explore new markets and increase their business,” said Michael L. Ducker, chief operating officer, FedEx Express, in a statement. “The strong position of the Polish economy and tremendous popularity of e-commerce have both contributed to increasing demand for shipping services. We view Poland as a key market for investment and growth.”

Among the inroads FedEx has made in recent years in Europe are:
-a 2006 purchase of ANC Holdings Limited, a UK domestic express transportation company;
-a 2007 rollout of its wholly-owned operation in Hungary following the acquisition its service provider Flying Cargo Hungary Kft.;
-the 2010 relocation of its Central and Eastern European hub from Frankfurt to Cologne, Germany and a 2009 expansion of its European hub at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, which is the largest non-U.S. FedEx hub; and
-in 2012 year-to-date FedEx Express has opened up 26 new stations in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, and Sweden, coupled with FedEx Trade Networks opening up 22 locations in recent years.

“[This] is the kind of acquisition we like—small, bolt-on, adding to the global FedEx network with a new domestic service offering in Poland,” wrote Stifel Nicolaus analyst David Ross in a research note. “In 2011, FedEx did a couple similar deals, acquiring an increased domestic footprint in India with AFL and added to its domestic presence in Mexico with MultiPack. While UPS tries to figure out how to integrate its European operations with those of TNT, we prefer to own FedEx, which should have a much easier time growing with these smaller, less risky integrations.”

About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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