Express Logistics Group Limited
Express Logistics Group Limited
Express Logistics Group Limited
Express Logistics Group Limited

Express Logistics Group Limited


International freight forwarding and logistics




Auckland, New Zealand


October 2005


Waterman led the acquisition of Express through a management buyout in support of a succession plan to the next generation management team.

The deal was sourced by Waterman through a relationship developed with the founder over a period of time.


Freight forwarding was growing at a faster rate than the global economy and the sector was consolidating rapidly.

Express was one of a small number of large independents in New Zealand and was growing revenues at around 20% per annum. It was nimble and had established an ‘asset light’ model that was more sophisticated than traditional freight forwarding.

Express was also the largest mover of non-perishables across the Tasman.

The opportunity was to add value by identifying and executing bolt-on acquisitions to scale the business.


A number of key initiatives were implemented that added considerable value to the business:

  1. Bolt-on acquisitions – Five bolt-on acquisitions were executed in NZ and Australia adding scale to the business.
  2. International expansion – Expansion of branch network in Australia and the USA.
  3. Systems upgrade – Upgrade of information systems to industry standard IT platform.
  4. Management team – A succession plan was implemented transitioning the founder into a non-operational role and promoting certain key staff to more senior positions.

Express expanded from five branches to a network across Australia, NZ and the US of 12 branches. During the period of investment turnover of the group doubled from $89 million to $165 million.

Following an approach from Toll Holdings in 2009 the business was sold.

Realisation of the investment achieved a compound annual return of 43.6% and 3.6 times the original capital invested.