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Mainfreight Agrees to Buy Netherlands Firm for $153 Million

Mainfreight Ltd., New Zealand’s largest trucking company, agreed to buy Netherlands-based Wim Bosman Group for 110 million euros ($153 million) in its first European acquisition.

Mainfreight plans to buy the closely-held transport and logistics provider with bank debt, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. The acquisition is Mainfreight’s first since July 2008, according to Bloomberg data.

Wim Bosman, based in ‘s-Heerenberg on the Dutch-German border, owns branches in six European countries that include more than 1,000 transport units as well as warehouse and docking facilities, according to the statement. The acquisition is part of the company’s ambitions to become a global business, Managing Director Don Braid said in a telephone interview.

“They’re getting it at what looks to be a pretty attractive price,” Marcus Curley, an Auckland-based analyst at Goldman Sachs JBWere Ltd., said in a telephone interview. “Mainfreight trades on nine times EBITDA and they’re buying this business on six.”

Mainfreight’s shares rose by 47 New Zealand cents, or 5.8 percent, to NZ$8.59 in Wellington trading, lifting the company’s market value to about NZ$846 million. It was the shares’ biggest gain since November 2008.

Earnings Per Share

The company has “significant balance sheet capacity” for the acquisition after agreeing to new bank facilities that allow for borrowings of as much as NZ$415 million, according to today’s statement. The transaction is likely to increase Mainfreight’s earnings per share, it said.

“It should be earnings enhancing somewhere between 15 and 20 percent,” Curley said.

Mainfreight has existing businesses in New Zealand, Australia, Asia and the U.S., according to its website.

“The acquisition is a strong strategic fit for Mainfreight and will provide an excellent platform for Mainfreight to expand its business and service offering globally,” the company said in the statement.

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