Little turning Japanese with new carrier purchase

Toll expands footprint to Japan with agreement to buy one of the country's biggest freight operators

Little turning Japanese with new carrier purchase
Little turning Japanese with new carrier purchase
October 13, 2009

Paul Little's Toll Holdings behemoth will expand its footprint to the land of the rising sun, with an agreement to buy one of Japan's biggest logistics operators.

The company has announced the acquisition of express carrier Footwork Express, pending regulatory approval.

Little calls it a significant investment by an Australian company in the Japanese freight and logistics market.

"Japan has the largest economy in Asia and the second largest in the world and this acquisition gives Toll a very significant presence in this key market," he says.

Footwork Express employs more than 5,000 people, turning over $775 million as one of the top ten domestic logistics providers in Japan. Toll has held a minority stake in the business since April 2006.

Full control of the company will allow Toll to make the "operational changes needed", Little says.

"The Toll Group’s range of world-class express service providers includes Toll Ipec, Toll Priority, Toll Express and NQX Freight System. These businesses are market leaders and the expertise the group has built over the years, combined with the knowledge of the Japanese market that comes from our existing
stake in Footwork, give us confidence in this acquisition," he says.

Little says Toll turned around the Ipec express business since acquiring it in 1998. Pat Kearns, who led that transformation, will work with Footwork's senior management and customers.

The $95 million purchase price for the remaining 64 percent of the business will be funded out of existing cash reserves.

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