GEFCO car transporter wagons, source: GEFCO

Gefco put up for sale by stakeholders RZD and Stellantis

Shareholders Stellantis and the Russian railway company RZD are making another attempt to reduce their stake in transport company Gefco. Two years after the failed IPO, they have now put Gefco up for sale. The specialist in car logistics is valued at 2 billion euros. Reuters reports this based on sources around Gefco. The owners have engaged bankers JP Morgan and Rothschild to find potential buyers, according to the news agency.

Gefco is the former in-house transporter of the French car group PSA, which has changed its name to Stellantis since the merger with Fiat-Chrysler. The Russian railway company RZD took a 75 per cent stake in the logistics service provider in 2012.

IPO

Both owners have been trying to reduce their stakes in Gefco for some time. In 2019, RZD and PSA made an attempt to list the logistics company. The Russian railways planned to reduce their stake to less than 50 per cent, while PSA wanted to keep at most 10 per cent. The IPO was eventually called off because there was too little interest in the market.

Stellantis still accounts for roughly half of Gefco’s turnover. The group can now also count car manufacturers Ford, Renault, Skoda and Toyota among its customer base. Gefco also provides services to Nestlé and Electrolux, among others.

Corona crisis

Gefco was hit hard by the corona crisis in 2020. Due to the closure of factories and less purchasing power of car dealers and consumers, turnover fell by 20 per cent to 3.8 billion euros. Car transport accounted for 1.5 billion euros, while the turnover of the company’s largest division, land transport and contract logistics, amounted to 1.8 billion euros. The forwarding branch recorded a turnover of 340 million euros, the other services 91 million euros. Operating profit (EBIT) fell by 32mper cent to 140 million euros.

Sales in the automotive sector are now rising again, with an increase of 74 per cent in May. The sources consulted by Reuters predict that Gefco’s turnover will grow to 4.4 billion euros, with a resulting total of 344 million euros.

Appreciation

The valuation of 2 billion euros that would have been on the table during the takeover talks thus amounts to just under six times the result before tax (EBIT). That is considerably lower than what is currently common for logistics deals. According to Reuters, Stellantis has already announced that it will reduce its business with Gefco, pushing the company’s value down sharply.

Gefco was founded in 1949 and has 11,500 employees in 47 countries. The logistics service provider employs 240 people in the Benelux. In the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, the company transports 450,000 vehicles and 205,000 FTL and LTL shipments per year. Gefco has 7 million square meters of storage space for cars and 25,000 square meters for storage and cross-docking at its disposal.

Watch an interview with Gefco

In this interview, ALice Defranoux from Gefco talks about the transport of electric cars on rails.

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Author: Eric Verhegge

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