French logistics giant Geodis said Monday that it was buying the US distribution company OHL (Ozburn-Hessey Logistics), which has an annual turnover of 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion).
The deal, for an undisclosed sum, gives Geodis -- which is owned by France's national rail firm SNCF -- a strong foothold in the handling of clothing, electronics, food and pharmaceuticals in North America, where OHL is a substantial player.
"Bringing together the complementary customer portfolios and capabilities, combined with the great cultural fit of both companies makes outstanding strategic sense for Geodis," said its CEO Marie-Christine Lombard.
OHL, owned by investment fund Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS), has more than 120 distribution centres across North America and employs over 8,000 people.
Lombard said that over time OHL would be absorbed into the Geodis brand.
Its parent company SNCF Logistics said earlier this year that it was aiming for growth of 20 percent between now and 2020, mostly abroad and through consolidating Geodis.