Caixin
Feb 05, 2021 12:29 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

Chinese FedEx Rival Eyes Stake in $5 Billion Kerry Logistics, Sources Says

Employees handle packages at an SF Express location in Hong Kong in February 2017. Photo: Bloomberg
Employees handle packages at an SF Express location in Hong Kong in February 2017. Photo: Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — SF Holding Co. Ltd, one of the largest Chinese package-delivery services, is exploring a potential investment in tycoon Robert Kuok’s listed logistics business, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Chinese courier is in talks to acquire a minority stake in Kerry Logistics Network Ltd., according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Kerry Logistics shares have risen 38% in Hong Kong trading this year, giving the company a market value of about $5.4 billion.

Kerry Logistics is also considering selling some assets to its parent company, the people said. Kuok, who is Malaysia’s richest person, controls the firm through his family holding company Kerry Group and its publicly traded real estate arm Kerry Properties Ltd. Details of a potential transaction are still being discussed, and the structure of the deal could change, the people said.

Trading in Kerry Properties and Kerry Logistics was halted in Hong Kong on Friday, pending inside information announcement. SF Holding also suspended its trading in Shenzhen, pending an announcement.

Shares of SF Holding have nearly tripled over the past 12 months, helping the company surpass FedEx Corp. in value and giving it a market capitalization of about $75 billion. The group owns courier service SF Express, which has benefitted from the rise in online shopping in China fueled by companies like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and JD.com Inc. In 2019, SF Holding completed the acquisition of Deutsche Post DHL Group’s supply chain assets in China for 5.5 billion yuan ($850 million).

There’s no certainty the deliberations will lead to a transaction, the people said. Representatives for SF Holding, Kerry Group, Kerry Logistics and Kerry Properties didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Kerry Logistics provides warehousing, distribution and supply chain solutions to companies across Asia. Its offerings include air freight, trucking and ocean cargo services as well as customs brokerage and cross-border logistics for e-commerce companies.

Clients of Kerry Logistics include fashion brands, food and beverage distributors, consumer goods companies, electronics manufacturers and other companies throughout the region. The company also offers package delivery services in seven Asian markets under the Kerry Express brand, according to its website.

Contact editor Yang Ge (geyang@caixin.com)

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