Panalpina are to be bought by Danish logistics giant, DSV, in a record takeover deal worth 4.6 billion Swiss francs (3.52 billion pounds sterling).

The deal has been more than two months in the making, and rumours regarding the merger have been circulating for even longer as DSV looks to build scale in the transportation and logistics sector.

Negotiations have been ongoing, with previous offers rejected due to resistance from Panalpina’s biggest shareholder.  The Ernst Goehner Foundation owns 46% of Panalpina, and had resisted previous bids on the company. A spokesperson for the company has now confirmed they are backing the deal.

The newly combined powerhouse will become the world’s fourth-largest freight forwarding company, in a market which is notoriously consolidated. Just Kuehne & Nagel, DHL Logistics and DB Schenker are larger than the new merger. Currently, the freight forwarding and logistics market sees 11% of its worth come from just 20 multinational companies.

The 4.6 billion bid gives an implied value of 195.8 Swiss francs to each of Panalpina’s shares, up from previous bids for 180 francs each in February, and an implied value of 170 in January 2019.

In a press release, CEO of DSV, Jens Bjorn Andersen, believes that Panalpina’s current operations will be able to be integrated into DSV’s already successful organisation. Previously, DSV have acquired S&H, boosting their e-commerce and multi-channel fulfilment operations, and UTi Worldwide in 2016.

Although the deal is yet to be formally approved by either industry competition regulators, or DSV’s own shareholders, there is little reason to believe it will be declined at this point.