Maersk buys German air freight company, Senator, for an enterprise value of $644 million


Denmark-based A.P. Moller – Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, has announced the acquisition of German air-based freight carrier company Senator International.

In addition, Maersk is purchasing two new B777 freighter aircraft and leasing three B767-300 cargo planes. To operate and manage this added capacity, cargo airline Star Air – the internal air cargo operation of Maersk established in 1987 – will become a key vehicle supporting Maersk’s logistics offering. Star Air operates a fleet of 15 aircraft: 12 Boeing 767-200SFs, 1 Boeing 767-300BCF and 2 Boeing 767-300Fs.

“By strengthening our footprint within air freight, we become a sizable player able to add even more flexibility to our customers’ supply chains and further support their needs for truly integrated logistics across the ocean, air and landside,” an official statement said. “Senator will contribute with offerings within air freight out of Europe into the USA and Asia, and thereby add strong capabilities and geographical reach to our integrator vision.”

The enterprise value of the transaction on a post-IFRS 16 basis is approximately $644 million, which is based on a proforma adjusted 2021 EBITDA multiple of 8.0x.

“As a global provider of integrated logistics, Maersk is improving the ability to provide a one-stop-shop and end-to-end logistics capabilities to our customers,” said Vincent Clerc, executive vice president and CEO, ocean & logistics, A.P. Moller – Maersk. “We have strengthened our integrated logistics offering through e-commerce logistics acquisitions, tech investments, expanding our warehouse footprint and, as a natural next step, we are now ramping up our air freight capacity significantly and creating a broader network to cater even better for the needs of customers.”

Senator International was founded as Senator Airfreight in 1984 with an initial team of 12 people working from its headquarters in Hamburg. From the beginning, Senator handled shipments worldwide and within a few years of its establishment, it acquired a reputation as a leading mid-sized provider in the air freight shipping industry. Almost 37 years after its founding, the Senator International team has grown to more than 1,700 employees working in 65 locations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America. 

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Senator has built operations around its own controlled capacity using 19 weekly flights across its network. “Senator’s own controlled air product started in 2016 and has proven to be a success story,” said CEO Tim-Oliver Kirschbaum. “By joining Maersk, we strongly believe that we will be able to deliver an even broader portfolio with our own controlled air capacity as well as in other modes of transportation.”

Maersk is expecting the acquisition to be closed in H12022.

Besides the latest acquisition of Senator International, the container shipping giant made other key acquisitions in the first nine months of 2021.

Visible Supply Chain Management, an e-commerce logistics provider based in North America focusing on e-fulfilment, parcel delivery services and freight management, was acquired in August. This was followed by the acquisition of HUUB, a Portuguese cloud-based logistics start-up specialised in technology solutions for B2C warehousing for the fashion industry, in September. And on October 1, 2021, the group acquired 100 per cent of the shares in B2C Europe, an e-commerce logistics provider based in Europe, specialising in cross-border parcel delivery services. 

While Visible Supply Chain Management was acquired for $10 million, Maersk paid $9 million for HUBB. The total acquisitions price for B2C Europe was $86 million. 

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Devender was born in the year when the Beatles Group was formed. He holds two master’s degrees in English Literature and Public Administration. He also has an Honors degree in English Literature and a post-graduate diploma in Corporate Communications and Public Relations. He was closely associated with the Indian State Transport Undertakings and Ministry of Transport in his role as Corporate Communications and PR specialist for over two decades handling domestic and international organizations. He ventured into business forming his own Media House, Profiles Media Network Private Limited which is now a twenty years old company. Excelling as an editor, Marketing, PR, Anchor, and Advertising specialist, he is now expertly navigating the world of social media. A widely traveled professional internationally, Devender has a deep understanding of the Air Cargo, Cargo Business, Cargo Airports, Freighters and Cargo Industry at large.