Austrian Post has agreed to buy a minority stake in the Turkish parcel carrier Aras Kargo.
The two sides are keeping the details of the deal, struck last week, confidential at this stage as negotiations continue.
Aras Kargo is 80% owned by the Aras family, with private equity firm Is Girisim holding 20% of the shares, having invested about $9.8m in the company back in November 2011.
Austrian Post said Aras Kargo was one of the leading Turkish parcel service providers, with annual revenues of about EUR 250m as it handles about 46m parcels and 32m documents each year.
The firm has a national network of 800 branches, 19 regional offices, 28 distribution centres and 2,600 delivery vehicles, employing a workforce of about 9,000 people.
The company was founded in 1979, delivering to more than 1,500 locations, with a particular strength in eastern Turkey.
The potential investment from Austrian Post would appear to follow on from its interest in buying stakes or controlling interests in postal companies in various Eastern and South-Eastern European countries.
Earlier this month, the national postal operator for Austria took its ownership of Bulgarian mail company M&BM Express up to a 100% stake. Last November it took its stake in Romanian mail company Postmaster to 100%.
Last year also saw Austrian Post snapping up Polish unaddressed mail specialist Kolportaz Rzetelny from Integer.pl.
Austrian Post, which generates around a third of its revenue outside Austria, has a strategy to invest in emerging markets in Eastern Europe where markets are opening up to new competition thanks to EU postal laws.
Turkey applied to join the European Union back in 2005, but its bid is mired in controversy because of the country’s geographic location outside of Europe itself, the fact that it would soon become the largest EU country with the ability to send more MEPs to the European Parliament than even Germany, and because of geopolitical conflicts including the issue of Cyprus.
Joining the EU requires unanimous consent from all other EU Member States. Perhaps ironically considering Austrian Post’s interest, Austria is one of the countries said to oppose Turkey’s membership.
- See last year’s article by Austrian Post senior vice president CEE mail, Andreas Dragosits, for more on the company’s Central and Eastern Europe strategy.
Source: Post&Parcel/Austrian Post/Aras Cargo
Tags: Acquisition, Aras Cargo, Austria, Austrian Post, Turkey
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