Peugeot-Citroën’s logistics arm Gefco is acquiring a controlling 70% share in Italian transport and distribution company Gruppo Mercurio following an agreement signed with Venice European Investments (VEI), the investment fund controlled by holding company Palladio Finanziaria. The figure of the transaction has not been released, though Palladio is reported to have bought the original share for approximately €100m in 2007.
Gefco said the acquisition, which it is handling directly, will accelerate the development of its inbound and outbound automotive logistics services and will allow it to diversify its client portfolio while extending its international footprint.
Gruppo Mercurio confirmed it will continue to function as an independent company but that synergies would be sought in providing services for existing customers.
“Our project remains in progress and it will accelerate thanks to the new owner,” Andrea Guido Conti, president of Gruppo Mercurio, told Automotive Logistics News.
The Conti and Arcese families retain the remaining 30% share following their re-investment through a minority stake in the company after the initial Palladio buyout.
The company has a strong presence in Europe and has been making inroads to fast growing markets including India (through its joint venture with Pallia Transport), Southeast Asia and the Mercosur countries in South America. Mercurio is reported to have generated revenues of €127m ($181m) in 2010 and moved more than 1.5m vehicles for customers including GM, Fiat, Honda, Suzuki and Renault.
Palladio Finanziaria set up the Venice European Investments (VEI) €400m fund with Italian bank Generali and Veneto Banca for investment in private equity and infrastructure companies.