EF Express FlashPremium freight provider Flash Europe International has acquired German based EF-Express group for an undisclosed sum.

Flash says the deal, the first since investor Eurazeo PME completed the purchase of a 43% share in Flash Europe International in September 2015, is a step towards the goal of at least doubling the company’s size by 2020.

Philippe Higelin, chairman of Flash Europe, said: “[The acquisition] represents the first building block of our ambitious international growth plan.

“With the support of Eurazeo PME, we are already working on new external growth opportunities with a revenue target exceeding €200m [$211m] in 2017.”

Flash provides time-critical services to the automotive sector and has a number of OEM and tier one customers. It also provides services for the aerospace and healthcare sectors. It generated revenue of €170m in 2016.

EF-Express offers air and freight services, mainly in Germany though it also has subsidiaries in Portugal and Poland. It reported revenue of €22m last year.

“This acquisition will provide Flash Europe with the means to boost its service offering, diversify its client portfolio and enter new industrial segments,” stated the company.

EF-Express’ existing employees and managers will all join the combined group with the exception of its founder and head, Joachim Wilde, who will retire.

Wilde said: “With what we have achieved after more than 30 years in the German market, I am glad that with Flash Europe we have found the right partner for our dedicated team and long-lasting customers to continue the success story of EF-Express within Flash Europe.”