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South Africa's Imperial buys German logistics company

October 5 - South African transport group Imperial Holdings will pay USD368 million to buy a German logistics company, in a move that bulks up its presence in Europe, even as the region struggles with an uncertain outlook.

Imperial announced it would pay EUR173 million (USD236.1 million) to private equity firm Triton for Lehnkering Holdings and take on the firm's net debt of EUR97million (USD127.8 million) 

Imperial has been pushing to expand its logistics business in a bid to offset cyclical headwinds from its auto dealerships unitits biggest earnings driver. 

Duisburg-based Lehnkering's vessels and trucks haul everything from steel to gas. 

Imperial, which already runs a logistics business in Europe, said the deal would open further trade flow opportunities in Europe and global emerging markets, which are served by German exports. 

Hubert Brody, Imperial's chief executive officer, said the company was also on a look out for acquisitions in fast-growing Africa. "Africa is a key priority and we will make acquisitions if they come around," Brody said. 

The transaction, subject to German regulatory approval, is expected to be effective by the end of the year or early next year, Imperial said.

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