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Livingston International Inc. completes acquisition of part of Global Trade business of J.P. Morgan

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
April 03, 2012

North American customs broker Livingston International said this week it has completed its acquisition of the customs and trade compliance services of Global Trade business (also known as the former Vastera business) of JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.

Toronto-based Livingston said in January that it entered into an agreement to acquire this part of JP Morgan’s Global Trade business. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Livingston provides customs brokerage and customs compliance services for many of the major importers and exporters in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry, as well as manufacturers of telecommunications equipment; semiconductors and other electronics; motor vehicles and automotive parts; and agricultural, construction and mining equipment, according to its corporate Web site. It also offers customs and international trade consulting services and international freight forwarding across North America and around throughout the world. 

In a letter to customers in January, Peter Luit, president and CEO of Livingston., said this deal greatly expands Livingston’s international trade expertise and service offerings within the United States and Canada, and extends this crucial and growing part of Livingston’s business to Mexico, Europe and Asia.

Based in Dulles, Va., Global Trade provides shippers with various global trade management services, focusing on the information flows related to cross-border components of importing and exporting goods. Its various services and software offerings are comprised of restricted party screening and boycott/embargo screening, landed cost calculation, shipment documentation, event management, export compliance, import compliance, and trade agreement optimization, among others.  The company was founded in 1991.

“What made this [deal] attractive was that we developed a strategic plan for our overall business and have been expanding our business in the U.S. significantly,” Luit told LM in an interview. “We were looking for ways to expand it and grow faster.”

Luit also pointed out that Livingston has made a number of M&A acquisitions in the last year, which Livingston is excited about, adding that this one is different from the others. The reason for this is that Global Trade’s customs and compliance services is very focused on large, multinational, U.S.-headquartered companies. And he added that Global Trade and Livingston had some clients in common.

Livingston has offices in border crossings and large cities and prior to this deal had about 100 offices in Canada and the U.S. and that Global Trade has about 20 offices.

“Global Trade has offices in Mexico which we did not, as well as offices in several countries in Europe, which we did not, as well as small offices in the Far East,” said Luit.
“We are expanding our footprint in these regions.

Luit said a combination of 500 full time employees and contractors from Global Trade’s customs and compliance services will be joining Livingston now that the deal is complete.

When asked what the competitive advantages of bringing Global Trade’s customs and compliance services into the fold are for Livingston, Luit explained how Livingston has a very unique market positioning.

“If you compare us to [the competition], I would say we have the broadest and the deepest service offering of anybody, certainly in the North American market and Europe as well,” he said.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
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. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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