Apollo’s EGL battle ends

The dramatic bidding war for logistics company EGL has seemingly come to a close: Apollo’s $2 billion bid – nearly 32 percent higher than the first bid made for the firm – has been board-approved, while the competing, Centerbridge-backed group was paid a $30 million break-up fee.

Apollo Management’s $2 billion (€1.5 billion) bid, equivalent to $47.50 per share, has trumped a Centerbridge-backed consortium in the battle for Houston, Texas-based transportation and logistics company EGL.

The bid was approved by EGL’s board and the rival consortium – which was led by EGL founder and chairman James Crane, and was also backed by The Woodbridge Company – has been paid a $30 million break-up fee.

The Crane-led group’s $38 per share bid was approved by EGL’s board in March, which prompted Apollo to sue EGL, Crane and other company executives on allegations it had been shut out of a sham bidding process fixed to favour the CEO. Since that time, both Crane’s group and Apollo have raised their bids numerous times, and exchanged harsh words via terse letters and media interviews.

Crane’s first bid for the company, made in December at $36 per share, was backed by General Atlantic, but the private equity firm withdrew its sponsorship following poor fourth quarter results.

Apollo will combine EGL with CEVA Logistics, a similar, existing portfolio company based in the Netherlands. The private equity firm has been looking for such add-on acquisitions in the US and Asia to strengthen CEVA for a future IPO, a source told the Financial Times.