EXCLUSIVE: Express carrier Hills bought by state-owned NZ Post

By: Jason Whittaker


The government-owned New Zealand Post is expanding its Australian express business with the acquisition of Sydney-based carrier Hills Transport

By Jason Whittaker | June 18, 2008

The government-owned New Zealand Post is expanding its Australian express business with the acquisition of Sydney-based carrier Hills Transport.

ATN understands a deal to absorb Hills as a wholly-owned subsidiary will be announced within days. The deal is expected to go through on July 7.

New Zealand Post already owns Australian courier business Couriers Please, which it bought in 2000, and its express road freight subsidiary Parcel Overnight Direct.

It is believed all three businesses will be headed up by NZ Post’s John Young, but will retain their own branding and operations.

Hills Transport was established in 1981 and has grown to become one of the largest independent transport companies in New South Wales, employing 350 staff. The company has depots across NSW, and in Canberra and Brisbane.

Founded by Ken Gray, the business has previously been ranked in the BRW fastest growing companies list.

On its website, the company lists its services as express distribution, storage and warehousing, supply chain solutions and time-slotted deliveries.

Gray, the current chief executive officer, is expected to remain with the company for a 12-month transition period.

While Gray would not talk about the deal when contacted by ATN, a spokesperson for New Zealand Post confirms a "conditional agreement" with Hills has been signed and the acquisition is expected to be finalised by early next month.

The purchase will make New Zealand Post a significant player in express logistics in Australia with a market capitalisation of about $200 million.

One source suggests the Kiwi company will become the fourth-largest independent transport provider in Australia after the Hills acquisition.

New Zealand Post partners with global express logistics company DHL in its domestic courier business and there is speculation DHL could be involved with the Australian operations.

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