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|| Dubai listed firm Aramex acquired South African firm for $55 million

aramex-sa.jpgAramex, a Dubai-based logistics firm, has acquired Berco Express, a South African logistics and transportation firm, for $55.5 million.

Established in 1982 and traded on the NASDAQ from 1997 to 2002, Aramex today is a publicly traded company in Dubai employing more than 9,000 people.

(Fadi Ghandour, founder and CEO of Aramex is an active angel investor from the Middle East. More details about his investment firm "MENA Venture Investments" can be found in the Middle East Investors Directory under the code SINX1)

More details follows

Aramex, the global logistics and transportation solutions provider, announced that it has completed the full acquisition of Berco Express (Pty) Ltd, one of South Africa's leading logistics and transportation companies.

Established in 1992, by Bernard Cox as part of the Berco Group, Berco Express has evolved from a pure courier company to a leading provider of transportation and logistics services, with a significant share of the country's freight and logistics market. It operates 15 branches throughout South Africa, and employs more than 700 people.

The strategic acquisition of Berco Express follows Aramex's recent venture into the Chinese market with the launch of the joint venture company with SinoAir, and the acquisition of OneWorld Courier and In-Time Couriers in Kenya in the 1st quarter of this year.

"Aramex has, for some time now, viewed South Africa as a highly attractive market with a business friendly environment and significant growth prospects, and our acquisition of Berco Express, a company that we have long admired for its great culture, brilliant management, and leading brand, will introduce exciting growth and development opportunities for us in Africa," said Fadi Ghandour, Founder and CEO of Aramex. "This acquisition, which is in line with our long-term strategy to strengthen our presence in key emerging markets around the world, is a major step towards the realization of our goal of being the Logistics and Transportation Company of choice in those markets."

"We are very happy to be handing over the reigns of Berco Express to Aramex; a company that shares our culture and ethics," says Bernard Cox, outgoing Chairman of the company.

Commenting on the significance of the acquisition, Andy van der Velde, Chief Executive Officer, Berco Express, stated, "Berco management and staff are extremely excited to join a leading global logistics and transportation solution provider, and we look forward to becoming an integral part of the Aramex global network."

He added, "Berco's product offering in South Africa will be even further developed and expanded with Aramex's full range of solutions. Our South African customers will continue to experience the excellent levels of service that Berco is known for. Improved technology, best logistics practice and most importantly a committed team around the world are only some of the benefits this acquisition brings to Berco staff, customers and suppliers."

The full range of services offered by Aramex will be introduced to the South African market including integrated logistics solutions, international and domestic express delivery, freight forwarding, secure records and information management solutions, and e-services, including e-business solutions and Shop and Ship. In the second phase, Aramex plans to further expand across Southern Africa with the opening of additional offices and warehouses, while training and developing South African employees to meet the needs of its customers in South Africa and to support the expansion strategy across Africa.

"Aramex has in-depth knowledge and understanding of Berco Express since we have been working together since 2005 as part of the global distribution alliance (GDA)," said Hussein Hachem, CEO for Middle East and Africa, Aramex. "With this acquisition we are also gaining strong local talent and expertise that builds on Aramex's global reach and innovative technology."

Hachem added, "We have been attracted to Berco Express' existing platform for growth in sub-Saharan Africa and the regional knowledge and experience it has built over the years. We will use South Africa as a platform for our expansion into the Southern African region, while connecting South Africa, and the wider region, to global trade hubs. Berco Express is certainly well positioned to enhance Aramex's position through its extensive expertise, scale, and local knowledge which will support our plans for expansion."

This acquisition is testament to Aramex's belief in the strong growth potential of South Africa, and the African continent as a whole, which recorded extremely strong growth rates.

"We believe that this decade will be Africa's and with six of the World's ten fastest-growing countries over the past decade in Africa, we are committed to the future of the continent," said Ghandour.

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