UK-based Clipper Logistics to be taken over by US giant for almost £1bn in show of ecommerce's rise

Mon 21 Feb 2022
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

clipper logistics

UK logistics company Clipper Logistics, which specialises in handling online deliveries, is set to be taken over by US rival GXO Logistics in a £943m deal.

According to the FT, GXO is yet to make a firm offer but Clipper’s board confirmed that it would accept an offer that represents a 32% premium to its three-month average share price, the groups said in a joint statement on Sunday.

Ecommerce boom

The Leeds-based company, which rejected a different £300m takeover in 2020, has seen business boom during the pandemic, processing orders for companies such as John Lewis, Asda, H&M and Marks & Spencer.

Clipper’s turnover has doubled since 2017 and its shares have trebled during the pandemic, as shoppers increasingly moved online during lockdowns.

According to the Times, Clipper now has 52 warehouses and more than 8,000 employees.

Excluding food, 41.5% of all retail purchases were made online last month, compared with 31.2% two years ago, according to the British Retail Consortium and KPMG. 

Clothes

Clipper mainly focuses on transporting clothing, with retailers outsourcing their online deliveries to the company.

The firm manages stock as well as picking and packaging clothes in its warehouses, reports the Guardian. It also handles clothing returns – an important and costly issue for fashion retailers.

Global player

The acquisition of Clipper would add to GXO’s purchase of Kuehne+Nagel’s UK contract logistics business in 2020, making it a major player in the logistics sector.

GXO chief executive Malcolm Wilson said: “This potential acquisition would enhance GXO’s position as a successful pure-play logistics leader. Our two companies have highly complementary service offerings, customer portfolios, and footprints in the UK and Europe.”