Korean private equity firm MBK Partners has agreed to sell all its shares in Shanghai-headquartered air freight forwarder Apex International Corporation to global logistics company Kuehne+Nagel Group, according to a company statement.
Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed but Kuehne+Nagel claims that the acquisition is the largest in its history. The transaction will be funded by Kuehne+Nagel’s liquid sources and available credit lines.
According to a Bloomberg report in October 2020, MBK Partners had plans to divest its entire equity interest in Apex for more than $1 billion.
The Korean PE firm acquired a majority stake in Apex in 2015 for 92 billion won ($78 million). The nearly six years partnership has helped Apex achieved significant growth. As of 2020, Apex registered annual turnover surpassing $2.3 billion.
After the acquisition, the Seoul-headquartered MBK Partners will no longer have an equity interest in Apex, while Apex’s management will remain a minority stake.
Additionally, Apex will operate independently within the Kuehne+Nagel Group. Founded in 1890 in Germany, Kuehne+Nagel specialises in integrated logistics solutions covering sea, air, road, and contract.
“The combination of Apex and Kuehne+Nagel provides us with an opportunity to offer our customers a compelling proposition in the competitive Asian logistics industry, especially in e-commerce fulfillment, hi-tech and e-mobility,” said Kuehne + Nagel International AG CEO Dr Detlef Trefzger.
Apex, one of China’s largest air freight carriers, operates logistics services with strong presence in the transpacific and intra-Asia regions. With 41 global offices, it provides offerings such as transportation, supply chain solutions, warehousing, and distribution to its over 10,000 clients.
“We are sure that with this transaction, we will be able to add value for our customers’ supply chains and expand our global logistics network,” said Apex Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO Tony Song.
Founded in 2005, MBK Partners manages $23.4 billion in assets that invest in the fields across consumer and retail, telecommunications, and media, among others. With branch offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Tokyo, it has so far had 44 portfolio companies.