Swift Freight confirms acquisition by Barloworld

Dubai-based logistics company Swift Freight has been acquired by Barloworld Logistics in a deal worth approximately US$70 million.
Issa Baluch, chairman and founder of Swift Group
Issa Baluch, chairman and founder of Swift Group

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Dubai-based logistics company Swift Freight has been acquired by Barloworld Logistics in a deal worth approximately US$70 million.

Negotiations between both companies have taken place over the past year, with Swift agreeing to include its various affiliates in the deal, covering operations in the Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Africa, Europe and the Far East.

"This is a milestone for the company. I am extremely happy that Swift has been recognised for its sound strategy and potential to grow even further as part of the Barloworld Group," said Issa Baluch, chairman and founder of Swift Group. "I believe we have a bright future ahead and will continue our pursuit to serve the world from Dubai."

The Swift Group, which is approaching its second decade of operations, has developed an international network of warehousing facilities that provide customers with a range of specialised logistics services. Its deal with Barloworld Group has received a mixed response from the Middle East logistics industry, although Baluch has confirmed the acquisition is mutually beneficial to both parties and received the support of everyone involved.

"The media has reported on a number of hostile mergers and acquisitions in recent years. However, the deal between Swift and Barloworld has been friendly, with both companies happy and cooperative," he stated. "A couple of Barloworld's top management officials will move to the United Arab Emirates from South Africa to overlook Swift's operations. In addition, I will continue to play a leading role in the organisation, alongside the management team from Swift."

The acquisition is expected to catapult Barloworld Logistics from its homebase in South Africa into the international logistics arena. The company will maintain the Swift trademark in the foreseeable future, although it plans to eventually integrate the brand into its existing global operations.

"We're very excited about Barloworld spreading its wings on the global scale," said Paul Stuiver, chief executive officer, Barloworld Logistics. "From its homebase in South Africa, this deal has provided a solid foundation for the international growth of the Barloworld Group. It has also positioned our logistics business to take advantage of the opportunities that have been created through globalisation and trade movements."

Stuiver stated that Barloworld undertook a detailed evaluation of the Middle East logistics industry and researched a number of potential companies for acquisitions before finally selecting Swift.

"We agreed that Swift is a perfect choice," he added. "By expanding our freight management services through their networks, we will become a significant player in a supply chain network that stretches from Asian manufacturing to Western European and African consumers. In addition, the acquisition will consolidate our existing presence in Dubai, which is already an important global logistics and transhipment hub."

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