November 23, 2020 2:00 PM, EST

XPO’s Europe Unit Sale Said to Slow as Blackstone Drops Out

XPO Logistics tractors and trailers sit at a distribution point in San Francisco bay in July 2019.Andrei Stanescu/Getty Images

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XPO Logistics Inc.’s sale of its European supply chain business has slowed after a key bidder dropped out of the process, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Blackstone Group Inc., once seen as a favorite to win the auction, is now out of the running following disagreements over valuation, according to the people. XPO has been seeking as much as $4.5 billion for the contract logistics business, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

XPO had requested suitors submit binding offers by the beginning of this month, the people said. It’s continuing to gauge interest from other potential buyers and plans to ask for another round of bids in early December, one of the people said.

The company is also considering options, including a separate listing of the business, the person said.


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No final decisions have been made, and XPO still could choose to keep the unit, the people said. Representatives for XPO and Blackstone declined to comment.

Greenwich, Conn.-based XPO had revived the sale of the European business after pausing the process during the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg News reported in October. The company said in January it had retained advisers to review strategic options, including the sale or spinoff of one or more units.

Sales at the European supply chain business fell 2.7% in the first half of the year to 1.51 billion euros ($1.8 billion). The company’s U.S. supply chain business is much smaller, generating about 316 million euros ($376.7 million) of revenue in the six months through June.

XPO is one of the world’s largest freight brokers, helping customers including retailers, e-commerce sites and food companies arrange the movement of goods. It’s also a top trucking group in Europe, with a strong footing in online deliveries.

XPO ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of the largest logistics companies in North America and No. 3 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers.

Dinesh Nair, Myriam Balezou and Kiel Porter were the primary contributors to this report.

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