FedEx Corp. announced that it signed an agreement to acquire the Polish courier company Opek Sp.z o.o. (Opek), the latest step in its strategy for growth in Europe.
“In recent years, we have made significant investments throughout Europe, greatly expanding our network coverage and improving service to customers”
This acquisition will give its FedEx Express business unit access to a nationwide domestic ground network with an estimated $70 million in annual revenue and 12.5 million shipments annually. FedEx expects that this transaction will most likely close in the summer 2012, after necessary regulatory approvals and subject to customary conditions. The acquisition of Opek will supplement the FedEx Express service portfolio in Poland and continue its European expansion through smart, strategic investments.
“In recent years, we have made significant investments throughout Europe, greatly expanding our network coverage and improving service to customers,” said Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and chief executive officer of FedEx Corp. “Our presence in Europe is backed by strong leadership and management and dedicated team members. We have an excellent strategy that has steadily advanced our position in the region, and we are well positioned for profitable growth as we increase the number of direct-served locations in Europe.”
FedEx Express broadened its European network in 2006 by purchasing ANC Holdings Limited, a UK domestic express transportation company. In 2007, FedEx Express began its wholly-owned operation in Hungary after acquiring its service provider, Flying Cargo Hungary Kft.
In 2010, FedEx Express relocated its Central and Eastern European hub from Frankfurt to a new state-of-the-art hub in Cologne, Germany and in 2009 expanded its European hub at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, France, making it the largest FedEx hub outside the United States.
So far in fiscal 2012, FedEx Express has opened 26 new stations across France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland and Sweden. In addition, FedEx Trade Networks has greatly expanded its presence in Europe, adding 22 locations in recent years to complement the portfolio of express services.
Opek, a family-owned company, was founded in 1994 and has built a well-established network which covers the entire country. Opek operates an automated hub in Lomianki, near Warsaw, and additional hubs in Lodz and Katowice. In total, the company operates 44 stations throughout Poland. More than 1,200 employees work for Opek and the company engages more than 1,300 contracted drivers.
“The acquisition delivers an excellent extension to the current service portfolios of both companies and puts us in an even better position to jointly meet the growing needs of our customers,” said Gerald P. Leary, president, FedEx Express Europe, Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa. “Our two companies represent a strategic fit with a common commitment to enhance the service we can offer Polish businesses, invest in our people and positively impact our communities as good corporate citizens.”
”This agreement with FedEx is a result of many years of dedication by Opek workers to outstanding customer service,” said Marek Opinski, general director, Opek. “We know our employees and couriers will be proud to be part of the team at FedEx, which is one of the world’s most admired companies and is also known as a great place to work.”
FedEx entered the Polish market in 1989 and has been continuously expanding its range of international shipping services since. In 2004, the company established a regular flight connection between Warsaw and Paris. A year later, FedEx opened its own branch stations at the Katowice and Warsaw Airports. With the launch of the FedEx International Economy service in 2009, the company expanded its service range to offer an economic alternative for less urgent shipments. Most recently, FedEx launched a flight from Katowice to the FedEx European hub in Paris in 2011. FedEx Express currently employs approximately 120 team members in Poland.