Wincanton eyed by second possible buyer as bidding war begins

26 February 2024, 13:44

A Wincanton articulated lorry
Wincanton lorry on M40 motorway, Warwickshire, UK. Picture: PA

Shares in the FTSE All-Share-listed company jumped by more than 10% on Monday following the announcement.

Logistics giant Wincanton has revealed it is being eyed by a second potential buyer as it becomes the latest business to become the centre of a bidding war.

Shares in the FTSE All-Share-listed company, which works with brands from Ikea and Primark to Waitrose and Wickes, jumped by more than 10% on Monday following the announcement.

Wincanton said last month that it had agreed to be bought by French shipping specialist CMA CGM, which valued the business at almost £567 million.

On Monday, it raised the offer to value the group at about £605 million, as Wincanton said it had received a potential offer from a competing bidder.

The Wiltshire-based business, which manages elements of its customers’ supply chains and has more than 20,000 staff, did not initially name the second possible buyer.

But, following speculation over the announcement, it confirmed the approach was by GXO Logistics, a US-based logistics group which has a 130,000-strong team around the world.

GXO specialises in using automation technology to help its customers manage their supply chains.

It also said there has been no formal proposal, including what the terms or price of an offer might be, but that it would be carefully considered if it is put on the table.

The board of Wincanton has recommended that shareholders accept the improved CMA CGM bid.

Other UK listed companies have drawn attention from potential buyers in recent months.

Electricals giant Currys said it had rejected a takeover bid worth about £700 million from Elliott Advisors, the owner of Waterstones, earlier this month.

At the same time it was being eyed by Chinese retail giant over a possible deal to buy the business.

Elsewhere, car seller Lookers was taken off the London Stock Exchange in December after being bought by Canadian dealership giant Global Auto Holdings in a deal worth about £500 million.

By Press Association