DB Schenker buys US trucks with Latham & Watkins

expansion in the United States

28.06.2022 – 09:43

DB Schenker wants to take over the American transport company USA Truck. The logistics subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn is paying the local shareholders USD 31.72 (EUR 29.99) per share. The total value of the transaction is around 435 million US dollars, which is the equivalent of almost 411 million euros.

The transport company USA Truck, based in the US state of Arkansas, employs around 2,100 people. It operates a fleet of around 1,900 trucks and has partnerships with more than 36,000 suppliers. In the first quarter of 2022, the listed company reported that it generated around 201 million US dollars (190 million euros).

The transaction still has to be approved by the relevant competition authorities and USA Truck shareholders. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year. After that, a delisting of the company is planned.

Hold or sell?

With the acquisition of the US company, DB Schenker wants to further expand its presence in North America, where more than 10,000 of its 76,000 employees already work.

This step is interesting in that the rumor has persisted that Deutsche Bahn might be able to sell the profitable logistics subsidiary. In the past financial year, Schenker was able to post record sales of more than 23 billion euros.

In addition to strategists, private equity investors are also traded as possible buyers of the freight forwarding business, which includes land, air and sea transport. The ‘Handelsblatt’ named a tandem made up of Advent and Bain as well as a combination of CVC and Carlyle as interested parties. Blackstone and KKR were also mentioned by the medium as potential buyers for DB Schenker. According to the daily newspaper, any transaction would amount to between 15 and 20 billion euros.

Tobias Larisch

Consultant DB Schenker
Latham & Watkins (Dusseldorf): Dr. Tobias Larisch, Robert Katz (New York), Max Schleusener (Chicago; all lead; all Corporate/M&A), Dr. Thomas Grützner (Corporate/Compliance; Munich), Rene de Vera (Taxes; Chicago), Rifka Singer (Taxes/Remuneration; New York), Nineveh Alkhas (Labour Law; Chicago), Kieran Dickinson (IP/IT; Washington), Robert Brown (Privacy; Houston), Jeffrey Anderson (Real Estate; Chicago), Joel Mack (Houston), Josh Marnitz (Los Angeles; both environmental), Damara Chambers (Investment Control; Washington), Meredith Monroe (Compliance; Chicago), Michael Egge (Antitrust ;Washington); Associates: Trevor Kim, Jordan Wampler (both New York; both Corporate/M&A), Laura Waller (Employment; Chicago), Kellye Quirk (IP/IT; Washington), Kathryn Parsons-Reponte (Privacy; San Diego), Matthew Mrazek, Shenu Reddy (both real estate; both Chicago), Andy Landolfi (environmental), Asia Cadet (investment control), Faiza Hasan (compliance), Joy Dineo (antitrust; all Washington)
In-house law (Berlin): Dr. Alexander Wismeth (Head of Legal, Corporate and Capital Markets), Martin Lamm (Corporate) – known from the market

Berater USA Truck (Board of Directors)
Scudder (Lincoln): Mark Scudder (Lead), Heidi Hornung-Scherr, Jessica Kortum, Gregory Lawhon (Kansas); Associate: Cody Kofoid (all corporate M&A) – known from the market

background: DB Schenker relied on a transatlantic team from Latham & Watkins for the US acquisition. Düsseldorf-based corporate partner Larisch shared the lead with US attorneys Katz and Schleusener. According to market information, the law firm prevailed in a pitch. The fact that Latham has the necessary capital market law and transaction-related know-how both in Germany and in the USA may also have been decisive here, since the share offer is subject to US law.

On the part of the target company, a team consisting exclusively of US lawyers is involved. The US law firm Scudder is used again and again for transactions in the logistics sector. In addition to USA Truck, the regular clients of the unit include other companies from the transport industry.

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