Kuwait-based logistics giant Agility has confirmed that it is exploring the possibility of a merger with Swiss-logistics group Panalpina.
In a statement, Agility said that it was in discussions as part of an exploration of new opportunities to grow the business, but added that no agreement has yet been reached.
“Agility confirms that it is in early discussions with Panalpina about partnership opportunities between the logistics businesses of the two companies,” the statement said.
“Agility is always exploring opportunities to grow its business and maximize shareholder value. No agreement has yet been reached and there are no guarantees that an agreement will be reached,” it added.
The statement was released ahead of Agility’s earnings results for 2018, which showed a net profit of AED 981.29-million, an increase of 18.4% compared to 2017, against revenues of AED 18.8-billion.
Panalpina’s 2018 financial results haven’t been released yet, but in 2017 the company made revenues of AED 20.5-billion.
A merger between the two would give Agility significantly expanded global reach, especially in the air freight sector, where Panalpina has a very strong offering with its own 747 freighter and several aircraft on long-term wet lease charters.
Panalpina transported 995,900 tons of air freight in 2017, just under half of all the air cargo transported by Emirates SkyCargo during the same year.
For Panalpina, the tie-up would give it an unrivalled Middle East network, combining its hubs at Dubai International, DWC and Jebel Ali with the 13 DCs and offices that Agility has in the UAE alone, as well as on-the-ground facilities in 15 other countries in the MENA region.