Hays Sells 3PL

Hays Sells 3PL

Copyright 2003, Traffic World, Inc.

United Kingdom-based Hays took a major step in its restructuring plans with the signing of an agreement to sell its Hays Logistics division to Platinum Equity, a Los Angeles group that will add the 3PL to its portfolio of mission-critical service businesses.

The deal is subject to approval from Hays shareholders and the European Union but is expected to be completed in early 2004. Hays will retain certain properties in the United Kingdom, France and the Benelux countries, along with its German logistics and U.S. home delivery businesses.

Hays announced in March that it was selling off its logistics offshoot as part of a strategic plan to concentrate on its core staffing business. Hays Logistics has more than 16,000 employees and operations in 11 European countries and the United States. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, the business reported revenue of $1.45 billion.

Platinum sees the acquisition as a good fit both for its current business base and the organization''s growth plans. "Our businesses typically have a strong service orientation and generate recurring revenue from a stable customer base," said senior vice president Mark Barnhill. Since it was founded in 1995, Platinum has bought nearly 40 companies, and now has a stable operating base in North America and Europe. Upon completing the acquisition, the organization''s portfolio of operating companies will include 20 companies with aggregate revenue of more than $5.5 billion and more than 32,000 employees worldwide.

Hays Logistics services include supply-chain design, information systems and data management, distribution center and transportation services, and asset management of returnable transport packaging and not-for-sale goods.

Said Barnhill, Platinum is "very interested in business sectors that have mission-critical technology components, as this one does. We have a great deal of experience in supporting customers through cycles of technology transformation," he said.

One of its companies is Fort Myers, Fla.-based Data2Logistics, which provides freight payment processing, auditing and related logistics information services.

Once the transaction has been completed, Hays Logistics will get a new name and corporate image, but Barnhill could not give details of how Platinum will approach growth. "What I can tell you is that one of the things that attracted us to Hays Logistics was its strong regional and vertical market footprint," he said. "We think it is very well positioned to be a long-term market leader in this space."