14 December 2005 | Rebecca Ellinor
Deutsche Post World Net has bought UK logistics company Exel.
The German firm said the acquisition, completed today, means it is now the largest supplier of air and ocean freight and contract logistics.
Combined, the two companies have a 500,000-strong workforce and annual sales of about 55 billion.
Deutsche Post World Net is made up of Deutsche Post, DHL and Postbank. Klaus Zumwinkel, Deutsche Post chief executive, said the firm's priority will be to combine DHL Logistics and Exel in a "rapid and efficient manner".
The merger is expected to take two to three years, with the majority of it completed in the first year.
The set-up of the new logistics division has already been agreed and the top management positions filled. John Allan, Exel chief executive, will run the combined division, which will employ around 150,000 staff and have headquarters in Bracknell, Berkshire. It will operate under the DHL brand.
"Strategically, this acquisition is a good fit because both organisations were looking to increase their geographical footprint to meet the challenges of globalisation and growth in outsourcing," he said.
After the merger, DHL will operate with two logistics brand areas - DHL Exel Supply Chain and DHL Global Forwarding. The re-branding will begin next year.