GXO Logistics poised to acquire Wincanton in last-minute bid

U.S. logistics giant GXO Logistics (NYSE: GXO) has emerged as the frontrunner in the acquisition of UK-based Wincanton (LSE: WIN), sending Wincanton shares soaring over 20% on the London Stock Exchange.

GXO offered a compelling £762 million cash deal, valuing each Wincanton share at 605 pence. This offer significantly outbids the previous frontrunner, CEVA Logistics UK Rose, whose bid stood at 480 pence per share.

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GXO’s bid has gained crucial momentum with the support of two major Wincanton shareholders – Wellcome Trust and Polar Capital Funds – who collectively hold 34% of the company’s equity. This backing strengthens GXO’s position and suggests potential support for the acquisition from the Wincanton board, although an official response from Wincanton is yet to be received.

However, the potential merger between these two logistics giants raises potential competition concerns, especially considering GXO’s 2022 acquisition of UK-based Clipper Logistics for £1 billion. Regulatory hurdles could emerge as the deal progresses.