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Wincanton Endorses £762m GXO Takeover, Dropping CEVA's Bid

UK haulage company Wincanton has endorsed a £762 million acquisition proposal from the American logistics giant GXO, abandoning a previous offer from CEVA Logistics, based in Marseille.



The decision came after GXO presented a bid of 605p per share, a 29% increase over Wincanton's peak share price of 470p before receiving CEVA's £567 million offer.


Wincanton's shares surged to 622p, reflecting the market's positive response to the takeover battle, which has seen multiple UK firms facing foreign acquisition attempts.


The company, headquartered in Chippenham and the last UK-listed logistics firm, employs 20,000 people and services major clients like Asda, Sainsbury’s, and Waitrose.


Sir Martin Read, Wincanton's chairman, praised the current management's progress and innovation in logistics, expressing satisfaction with GXO's recognition of the company's value.


The takeover interest in UK companies by foreign entities highlights the perceived undervaluation of British assets, attributed to the weak pound, economic challenges, and Brexit's lingering effects.


Susannah Streeter of Hargreaves Lansdown noted the trend of overseas companies targeting UK firms, suggesting that while low offers might be rejected, there's a willingness to accept higher bids amidst dissatisfaction with current valuations.


She advocated for government actions to revitalise the London market, including tax adjustments and increased investment incentives.


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