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

Express Logistics Group Limited

SECTOR

International freight forwarding and logistics

SHAREHOLDING

25%

LOCATION

Auckland, New Zealand

INVESTMENT DATE

October 2005

INVESTMENT

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.

INVESTMENT RATIONALE

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.

WATERMAN VALUE ADD

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.
ACHIEVEMENTS

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.