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DHL acquires logistics firm JF Hillebrand

Published:  19 August, 2021

A major force in global wine shipping has been purchased by the Deutsche Post (DPDHL) Group for approximately €1.5 billion.

According to DHL's website, the German company signed an agreement in August to acquire up to 100% of JF Hillebrand Group AG and its subsidiaries at an equity value of over 1bn.

The move comes as shortages of freight capacity – both ocean and air – have pushed up shipping costs globally, with the coronavirus pandemic also extending port waiting times due to labour shortages and traffic disruptions.

"With the growing maturity of our freight forwarding business, this bolt-on acquisition of Hillebrand is highly complementary to our existing portfolio. In line with our group strategy, we strengthen our core logistics business and deliver profitable long-term growth,” said Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group.

“After concentrating on improving the business operationally, we are now able to direct our core business towards sustainably higher margins by broadening our reach and service offering in specialized segments,” added Tim Scharwath, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight.

"In this context, Hillebrand is an exceptional opportunity and an excellent fit with our strategy. We are excited to work with the entire Hillebrand team to further develop their best-in-class business on our platform."

Hillebrand was founded as a relatively modest enterprise in 1844, growing into an important logistics multinational specialising in ocean transportation of alcoholic beverages.

DHL's website reported that Hillebrand's operations had generated turnovers in excess of €1.4bn over the past 12 months, employing more than 2,700 people worldwide.