Industry Operators, Transport Features

Border Express looks to expand following acquisition

FMH Group and Border Express leaders Simon Slagter and Mark Luff reveal what customers should expect after the recent company merger

Border Express has transported palletised goods and distributed parcels across Australia since 1981. It has grown from humble beginnings in Albury to 1,700 staff members and 18 facilities. 

Earlier this month, FMH Group, a subsidiary of Singapore Post Limited (SingPost), acquired Border Express. The deal, according to FMH Group CEO Simon Slagter, was more than 10 years in the making. 

Border Express executive director of transformation Mark Luff says the merger provides a broader scope of offerings that the company didn’t previously have. Slagter says the acquisition is a significant and transformative move. 

“We worked long and hard to build a relationship with Border Express because of how highly we regard the business,” Slagter told ATN. 

“Because of the size of the acquisition, this transaction is the one that the team has been most excited about.” 

The $210 million sale now sees Border Express become a member of FMH Group, joining fellow Australian transport companies GKR Transport, Niche Logistics, BagTrans, Formby Logistics and Spectrum Transport, along with software development company Flip and efm Logistics, under the FMH umbrella. 

Negotiations between SingPost Group and Border Express date as far back as 2019. Slagter says the COVID pandemic threw a spanner in the works while talks were happening. After SingPost had invested in FMH Group in 2021, both Australian-based companies re-engaged in negotiations. 

Announcement of the conditional sale came through on November 1, 2023. It came two weeks after Border Express had invested $13 million in upgrades to its fleet and facilities. Slagter says between now and the conditional acquisition date, customers from both companies have come to terms with the new partnership. 

“Because the deal’s finally been completed, I think everyone’s more than comfortable with the acquisition,” Luff told ATN. 

“We’ve certainly been talking up the opportunities we can provide to customers with the broader group.” 

FMH Group is expected to add more than 700 vehicles to its fleet, 1,300 employees to its transport operations and increase its revenue by an estimated $1.3 billion. Border Express will now gain access to a broader range of logistics solutions and develop new software. 

Slagter says FMH Group is looking into helping the companies it has acquired by potentially implementing Flip’s software development technologies. 

Despite this goal, there’s been limited collaboration between efm Logistics, Flip and its transport subsidiaries due to how specialised these businesses operate, as well as the geographic areas of most of the companies. Luff says Border Express is excited to collaborate and offer efm and Flip solutions to customers.  

“When you are in the same group, the outcomes you can provide customers of a sister or brother company are certainly going to be better,” Slagter says. 

On top of this, FMH Group’s reach is set to expand into regional Australia after previously having limited presence in remote areas. Slagter says with Border Express’ reach, efm Logistics’ vast customer base and Flip’s software development capabilities, opportunities within the Australian logistics space for Border Express and FMH couldn’t be greater. 

“We wouldn’t have sold to FMH if we didn’t believe in Simon and his vision, or his capability in building what he’s looking to do with them,” Luff says. 

“We believe that Border Express fits into the strategic goals of the broader group.” 

FMH Group is also aiming to expand its group further by merging with SingPost sister company CouriersPlease. Slagter says from April 1, both companies are set to begin operating together.  

CouriersPlease CEO Richard Thame says joining forces will allow it to deliver greater value to customers and achieve shared success. 

The merger is another string to FMH Group’s bow, with Slagter saying the deal allows CouriersPlease’s efficient franchise model to provide last mile deliveries of smaller parcels in a more efficient manner direct to consumers.  

“There’s huge opportunity for us with CouriersPlease,” Slagter says. 

“With their unique last mile capability, coupled with our interstate capabilities, we can have a broad logistics network that allows us to compete with tier one companies.” 

Previous ArticleNext Article
Send this to a friend