Project cargo is unloaded from a ship in port.

Photo: Maersk

Maersk Adds to Project Cargo Capability with New Acquisition

Mike Schuler
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August 5, 2022

Maersk is extending its streak of acquisitions with an agreement to acquire a Denmark-based project cargo specialist.

A.P. Moller – Maersk will acquire Martin Bencher for an enterprise value of $61 million. It’s the latest from Maersk in its transition to become an end-to-end logistics provider.

Maersk CEO Soren Skou told investors this week it he remained confident about the shipping line’s business despite some softening in the container market. By year-end, the company is set to have up to $19 billion in cash reserves which it could use towards more acquisitions in the logistics and services space.

Martin Bencher was founded in 1997 and is an “asset-light” logistics provider that specialises in non-containerized project logistics. Martin Bencher’s core capability is designing end-to-end project logistics solutions for industries including paper mills, power plants, renewables as well as oil and gas projects. The company is based in Aarhus, Denmark and has 31 offices in 23 countries around the world, with almost 170 employees.

Maersk described the company´s competitive strengths as having a global customer base, deep industry expertise, a solid track record, long-term stakeholder relationships, and a highly skilled organisation.

“Martin Bencher will be an excellent fit to Maersk and our integrator strategy, strengthening our ability to provide project logistics services to our global clients,” said Karsten Kildahl, Regional Managing Director in Europe of Maersk. “When Martin Bencher joins the Maersk family, we will be able to deliver project logistics services with a high degree of reliability, a proven track-record, and a strong focus on Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE). In addition to supporting our existing customers’ project logistics needs, we will also be able to provide a more comprehensive offering to a wide array of industries.”

With closing, Maersk intends to introduce a new product, called Maersk Project Logistics, a specialized service covering solution design, special cargo transportation, and project management services – including detailed planning, orchestration, and sequencing of end-to-end shipments from suppliers to destination sites.

“Such service requires managed transportation capabilities with deep technical specialist knowledge around specific supply chain elements such as handling of oversized and special lift cargo, conducting road surveys, and delivery planning as well as offload and assembly of the equipment on sites,” Maersk said in its announcement.

“A strong project logistics solution offering is a key element for clients with logistics requirements for large scale projects across several industry segments, including renewable energy, pulp and paper, power generation, mining, automotive, aid and relief, government contracted logistics and industrial” manufacturing.”

Maersk already operates in the project cargo sector mainly Europe and North America, but it intends to consolidate these activities into a global product offering.

Maersk disclosed the enterprise value (EV) of the transaction as $61 million, post-IFRS 16 lease liabilities. This reflects an EV/EBITDA multiple of 7.1 based on estimated EBITDA for full-year 2021.

Maersk and Martine Bencher will remain two seperate companies until obtaining all required regulatory approvals and closing.

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