Gian Sharp, DHL: Romania offers highest growth opportunities after Cargus integration

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After more than two years of talks over the acquisition of Cargus, DHL Romania will begin to make joint decisions on behalf of both companies as of next year and become the undisputed leader on the domestic market, and will enter the top three countries in the area in 2009.
 
“Romania has the highest growth rate of all the countries in Europe as far as DHL is concerned. In terms of value, Romania ranks fourth after Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary and as soon as the Cargus acquisition is completed next year we will come the third, “ the same daily quotes DHL Romania manager Gian Sharp as saying, in his first interview since the announcement of the Cargus takeover, in the deal in April.According to estimates, DHL and Cargus will operate an over 80 million-euro business together, double the business volume of the players behind them (Fan Courier and TNT), based on the budgets the companies announced early this year.
 
The decision to buy Cargus was the result of the dynamics of the domestic courier service sector, where local firms are well grounded.
“We decided to buy a domestic courier company three years ago, because the Romanian courier services are seeing a very fast growth rate, leaving international courier services behind.
 
Had we entered with a greenfield investment, it would have been harder to catch up with the companies that have already reached a certain level,” Sharp added.
Cargus was the only company with which DHL held negotiations, whilst others were halted and when they decided to buy, the DHL was certain the deal would come through. “There were ups and downs but we were confident we wanted to buy the company,” Sharp said.
 
DHL advisors in the deal were McGregors & Partners and Linklaters, while PricewaterhouseCoopers were the auditors.
On the other hand, Cargus had a gentlemen’s agreement with the owners, negotiating the sale exclusively with DHL. Cargus, one of the leading Romanian courier companies was worth 50 million euros at the time of the deal, according to the market sources, a value that officials did not confirm.
 
The sale-purchase contract included a number of conditions such as dropping Cargus’ partnership with GeoPost and keeping the Cargus brand. As Sharp explained, working out the final details was actually the most difficult moment in the negotiations. The two companies are currently awaiting the approval of the Competition Council and have already set their first joint budget – an increase worth 30% in 2009.
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