Kuehne+Nagel Taps Partners Group to
Help Apex with Cross-Border E-Commerce Opportunity
July 5, 2021
has agreed to sell to Partners Group, a global private markets firm, a 24.9%
equity stake in Apex. Following the transaction, Partners Group will join
majority shareholder Kuehne+Nagel Group, one of the world's leading logistics
companies, with a seat on the Apex Board.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Shanghai, Apex is one of Asia's leading
freight forwarders, especially on the transpacific and intra-Asia trade routes.
The Company has around 1,600 employees across 41 locations globally. In 2020,
Apex generated turnover of CHF 2.2 billion, gross profit of CHF 296 million and
earnings before taxes of CHF 126 million and ranked seventh in terms of global
air freight forwarding volume.
Partners Group will work alongside Kuehne+Nagel to implement a transformational
value creation plan for Apex together with the Company's management team. Key
initiatives include establishing new freight forwarding routes; identifying new
growth verticals, such as healthcare; and M&A.
Yngve Ruud, Executive Vice President Air Logistics, Kuehne+Nagel International
AG, Chairman of Apex, comments: "On behalf of Kuehne+Nagel as well as Apex’s CEO
Tony Song and his management team, we welcome the addition of Partners Group as
a shareholder. By combining the financial and strategic expertise of Partners
Group with the industry heritage and experience of Kuehne+Nagel, Apex will have
access to a powerful partnership through which to consolidate our position in
China and further develop the Company."
Dr. Marcel Erni, Co-Founder, Member of the Board of Directors, Partners Group,
says: "Apex is a leading player in the China cross-border freight forwarding
market, with a growing international presence and significant potential for
further expansion. We have long admired the Company and its management team and
are excited to be able to contribute to its future growth. Similarly, we are
delighted to partner with Kuehne+Nagel, one of the world's longest-established
logistics companies, blending private equity with leading logistics industry
Joerg Wolle, Chairman of the Board, Kuehne + Nagel International AG, states:
"The strategic focus on expansion in Asia, initiated by the Kuehne+Nagel Board
about three years ago, is paying off in terms of organic growth supported by
acquisitions. We believe Partners Group, with its extensive experience and
network, is an ideal partner for Kuehne+Nagel."
Sheng Liu, Managing Director, Private Equity, Partners Group, adds: "We started
following the development of Apex after identifying it through our thematic
investing approach several years ago. Apex benefits from the rise of
cross-border e-commerce – a key transformative trend that has accelerated as a
result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to working with Kuehne+Nagel as
well as Tony Song and his management team to realize this potential."
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance
by the competent merger control authorities. Apex will then continue to operate
separately within the Kuehne+Nagel Group.