Wallenius Wilhelmsen reverses out of PrixCar deal

By: Rob McKay

Norwegian-owned firm cites changed conditions and delays

Wallenius Wilhelmsen reverses out of PrixCar deal
PrixCar’s ownership will remain unchanged for now


The deal that was to see Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) fold its Australian landside operation into local firm PrixCar has hit the buffers.

The Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions (WWS)/WWL Australia (WWLA) move that surfaced in November was to see WWL take a 20 per cent stake in the expanded company but Norwegian parent firm Wallenius Wilhelmsen (WW) now says the subsidiary will go it alone in Australia.

It had been "fully committed" to a partnership but explains that, since November, there have been "a number of delays to the process and significant changes have taken place.

"Wallenius Wilhelmsen has thus made the decision to withdraw from the transaction.

"Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions . . . in Australia has been highly successful over the last 18 months, winning new business and setting the foundation for sustained performance."

The company is now "well positioned for further growth" in the high and heavy (H&H) equipment space, especially in light of the capabilities added to the group with the recent acquisition of Keen Transport in North America.

"Our fundamentals are good and our ambition within the Australian market matches our global strategic objective to build unrivalled capability to serve the high and heavy equipment industry," WW Solutions COO Ray Fitzgerald says.

WW's headquarters was unable to give more detail on the reasons for the move, nor on its plans for further Australian expansion.

"We are not at liberty to go into the details of the delays, but when the agreement was signed in November 2017 we expected it to be concluded by February," a spokesperson says.

However, the spokesperson also points to WWL’s US$64 million (A$83 million) December acquisition of US heavy equipment logistics firm Keen Transport.

Though Keen is solely a US-focused company, the buy appears to have emboldened WW to change tack.  

"The added capabilities this brought increased traction for our strategy of growing in high and heavy equipment space, positioning us for further growth in this area also in Australia," the spokesperson says.

PrixCar is controlled by Toll, K Line Australia and Qube and ATN has been unable to obtain comment or details on the development from that side.


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