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Company Profiles – DSV
DSV – History of mergers and acquisitions.
The core of this company profile is focused on mergers and acquisitions. DSV has bought Dutch group Frans Maas – some say it’s supposed to be a merger of equals.
Mergers and acquisitions are activities that take place in a business environment, but the mechanisms can be translated into an organization; the organizational department is also constantly coming together.
Mergers are a response to the changing business environment. As in this case. “the transport sector is subject to a constant process of consolidation, driven by globalization and the resulting increase in cross-border trade…” This paragraph is from the risk section of the DSV 2007 annual report (1). DSV is an acronym that stands for: shared tugs.
“It all started in 1976 when Leif Tullberg founded De Sammensluttede Vognmænd (DSV) with ten independent carriers. The company operated as a trucking division for the owners and only engaged in contract transportation and delivery. In 2000, the biggest step in the company’s history was taken with the acquisition of DFDS Dan Transport Group… Since 2004, we have been following a plan to strengthen our position on the European market. a player in road transport and logistics.” (2)
Ambitions are higher than that, the company wants to become one of the largest and most profitable transport companies in Europe. Merger transactions cannot be considered in isolation without affecting the organization: scale is one of the factors that determine the effectiveness of a fan organization.
Expansion is only possible through mergers and acquisitions or through autonomous growth, and in the consolidation sector the latter option is difficult to achieve.
The stock quote feature on the DSV website is interesting. Some companies create complete investor applications. In this case, the company decided to derive the stock market listing function from the Nordic stock index where the stock is traded. It shows that the company is focusing on what it does best, and that’s not making stock market listing apps. DIY is not part of this strategy. On the stock exchange, we also learn that since May 2007, the share has been divided in a ratio of one to ten.
Now about the takeover that happened in 2006. According to the 2007 annual report – which is a protected pdf document – the company continues its efforts to integrate the Frans Maas Group. “It is an extensive and complex process of commercial integration, realization of synergistic potentials and adjustment of legal and financial structures, which has now been completed in almost all countries except Germany and France…”
This process has evolved: “changes in traffic, termination of agency relationships, renegotiation of unprofitable contracts, consolidation of terminals and offices, consolidation of IT resources as well as adaptation of personnel.” (AR 2007)
The company’s operations are organized in three separate divisions: Road, Air & Sea and Solutions. For the latter, the group “has 1,500,000 M2 of logistics capacity” (2)
DSV’s business concept is as follows: “… stands for comprehensive outsourcing. DSV aims to generate a maximum of 5% of revenue itself. The group uses carriers, airlines and shipping companies as subcontractors. As a result, DSV can quickly and cost-effectively adapt to changes in supply and demand on the transport market. Cooperation with subcontractors is generally long-term and based on an atmosphere of mutual respect and requirements.”
The share price chart in the annual report shows a new dilemma: increased growth and revenue (after the takeover), but also higher risk: quarterly results fluctuate more than before mayoral takeovers (eg Frans Maas).
About Frans Maas.
In an interview in 2001 (3), Henk Benjamins – then the chairman of the Frans Maas Group – explained the differences between transport and logistics. “Behind the vehicles we see on the road, there’s a lot more… there’s logistical thinking and coordination going on behind the scenes, which is the core of their business. The president said this in the context of the company’s changing image.
Although Frans Maas is of Dutch origin, the company can only survive as a trans-European player. Another misconception is that Frans Maas is a transport company. “Frans Maas is an expedition and logistics company that is something completely different:
“Transporter has transport capabilities and is looking for cargo,” we hardly have any trucks, just a fleet of trailers. In 2001, the company had 175 locations and 80% of its traffic came from outside the Netherlands. … our catalog of logistics services is the diver that we can offer from international expedition to special logistics for the customer.”
This last deal…comprises the organization of the execution and reproduction of the European flow of goods for ONE specific multinational customer…this can be the entire range of goods, facilities, assemblies and finished products. These are large projects that are centrally organized, which is almost impossible otherwise.
International expedition is the collection, exchange and distribution of small cargo from different clients for as many destinations throughout Europe. This is also a centralized organization.
In addition to the centralized logistics process, there is also decentralized logistics for “local customers”. In an interview, Henk Benjamins explains that the pan-European role, the expedition network is the key driver of customer-specific logistics. “Often a new service is born in the expedition department. It all starts with doing something extra for one customer, which triggers other initiatives… At a certain point, the scale makes it possible to take a broader approach and it becomes logistics.
In this customer-specific logistics, the logistics company changes from a pure supplier to a business partner; takes care of part of the business process of the external company.
“this is covered by long-term contracts.”
A change. “March 2006 poor financial condition, cash flow problems and too low transport margins combined with low volume is the reason for selling the company.” Although not all shareholders agree with this vision, M&A negotiations begin.
By that time, Henk Benjamin had already retired (in 2005), and in 2006, the new general manager, Arvid Manneke, an original pharmacist, was negotiating with the Danish company DSV. Manneke was given a seat on the executive board of the new organization, but resigned after a few months. According to newspaper reports, due to a conflict of interest with DSV CEO Kurt Larsen.
The company DSV will be renamed and the name Frans Maas will disappear. In the 2007 annual report, there is no Dutch (top) manager in the organization.
Kurt Larsen recently (April 16) announced his resignation as CEO, but will remain part of the supervisory board. Jens Bjorn Andersen becomes the new CEO.
(1) – http://www.dsv.com
(2) – Annual report 2007 at the same place
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