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Sat 20 Nov 2010 12:00 AM

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Should Aramex acquire or be acquired by others?

A proposed change in foreign ownership laws for UAE firms has sparked rumours that Aramex may be bought by larger competitors

Should Aramex acquire or be acquired by others?

A proposed change in foreign ownership laws for UAE companies has sparked rumours that Aramex could be acquired by larger international competitors such as FedEx, DHL or UPS.

Of course, talk about the acquisition of Aramex has been doing the rounds for a number of years now, but would the company’s CEO be willing to entertain an offer? It’s highly unlikely. Fadi Ghandour has repeatedly gone on record to state that Aramex is focused on international growth and any speculation about a takeover is merely that… speculation. “We are not interested in any way, shape or form in anybody acquiring us,” he reiterated to journalists last month, after the rumour about acquisitions reared its ugly head again and sent the value of Aramex’s shares on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) soaring.

Of course, it’s understandable that the Middle East logistics company would make an attractive purchase for international heavyweights. Its financial results for July to September 2010 – published last month – have showcased a resilient and healthy business. Revenues increased by 12% to US$148.5 million, marking the third consecutive quarter with double-digit growth, while net profits also jumped by 12% jump to $12.7 million.

Therefore, instead of being acquired, Aramex has reached a strong enough position to continue its own acquisition trail. Following the recent purchase of a majority stake in its Bangladesh franchisee operations, we are predicting an expansion into emerging markets such as Africa, South Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

“We continue to seek promising expansion opportunities and look to build new partnerships and conclude more acquisitions in these budding markets,” Ghandour revealed to Logistics Middle East. I’m told we can expect some updates on these plans in the coming months, so watch this space for more information!

Robeel Haq, is the senior group editor of Transport.

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