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US group buys French transport firm for €3.2b

US transporter XPO Logistics announced a deal on Tuesday to buy France's much larger Norbert Dentressangle in a deal worth €3.24 billion ($3.56 billion) including acquired debt.

US group buys French transport firm for €3.2b
Photo: NoTrucksNoLife/Flickr
XPO said the takeover will move it into the top-10 rankings of global logistics firms, boosting total annual revenues to $8.5 billion by the time the merger is completed.
   
The deal will bring together XPO's 10,000 employees focused on North America with 42,350 staff staffing Norbert Dentressangle's business in 24 countries, mainly in Europe.
   
Last year, XPO reported revenues of $2.4 billion, and Norbert Dentressangle 5.1 billion euros ($5.6 billion).
   
XPO said the deal is worth 2.17 billion euros for Norbert Dentressangle shareholders. XPO will buy the 67 percent shareholding of the Norbert Dentressangle family and make a general tender for all other shares.
   
The per-share price is 217.50 euros, excluding a 1.80 euro per share dividend to be paid ahead of the close of the merger deal.
   
The price was 36.7 percent above the company's closing price Tuesday on the Paris Bourse.
   
XPO said Norbert Dentressangle chairman and chief executive Herve Montjotin will serve as CEO of the merged company's European business and president of the parent company.
   
XPO said it would not cut back company staff in France, which represents two-thirds of the business, "for a period of at least 18 months from closing."
   
The European headquarters will also remain in Lyon, it assured.
   
"The acquisition of Norbert Dentressangle is a major leap forward, but we're still in the early innings of our long-term growth plan," said Bradley Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of XPO.

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BUSINESS

French court hands Amazon €90,000-per-day fine over contracts

French authorities on Wednesday slapped a €90,000-per-day fine on e-commerce giant Amazon until it removes abusive clauses in its contracts with businesses using its platform to sell their goods.

French court hands Amazon €90,000-per-day fine over contracts

The anti-fraud Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes (DGCCRF) service said the online sales giant’s contracts with third-party sellers who use its Amazon.fr website contain “unbalanced” clauses.

“The company Amazon Services Europe did not comply completely with an injunction it was served and it is now subject to a fine of €90,000 per day of delay” in applying the changes, the DGCCRF said in a statement.

It also urged the platform to conform with European rules on equity and transparency for firms using online platforms.

Amazon said the order would harm consumers.

“The changes imposed by the DGCCRF will stop us from effectively protecting consumers and permit bad actors to set excessive prices or spam our clients with commercial offers,” the e-commerce giant said in a statement.

“We will comply with the DGCCRF’s decision but we absolutely do not understand it and we are challenging it in court,” responded the e-commerce giant in a statement.

Amazon said the clauses that the DGCCRF has ordered removed had, for example “prevented the appearance of exorbitant prices for mask and hydroalcoholic gel during the pandemic”.

In 2019, Amazon was fined €4 million for “manifestly unbalanced” contract clauses with third-party sellers on its site in a case brought by the DGCCRF.

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