Investor Sued Beteiligungen GmbH (SUEDBG), has purchased a 35% stake in Sovereign Speed Holding GmbH. It is a strategic move to secure the growth trajectory of Sovereign, which focuses on acquisitions, complementing its business activities and targeting strong organic growth. There will be no personnel changes in the top management despite the substantial portion of shares held by the new investor, both sides emphasize.
Business is running well, confirms the Hamburg, Germany-based logistics company. In fiscal 2022, it expects sales exceeding EUR 100 million. Sovereign Speed runs stations in 14 locations across Europe, including UK, and has a headcount of around 700 staff on its payroll. Following the announced transaction, company founders, Karim El-Sayegh and Martin Araman, will continue to hold a 64% share of the logistics firm. Long-time CEO, Frank Liebelt also becomes a proprietor by acquiring one percent.
No management changes
Following the transaction, Karim El-Sayegh and Martin Araman commented on the deal in a joint statement: “In recent months, we have intensively and diligently pursued the course for the future of the company. With SUEDBG, we have found the right partner who specializes in the long-term support of medium-sized companies and will support the strategic further development with its many years of experience. Together we have developed a solution that preserves proven structures and ensures management continuity.”
Focusing on network enlargement and additional services
CEO, Frank Liebelt added: “With SUEDBG as another strong partner in the Sovereign family, I am looking forward to working with the team to vigorously pursue our growth strategy by focusing on additional regions and services, expanding our customer network, and strengthening our integrated service approach.”
The logistics service provider has grown steadily and mostly organically since its founding in 1998. Various companies have recently been acquired, rounding off the portfolio of services. These added warehouses at the large Rhine-Main airport, Cologne, and Hamburg to Sovereign’s portfolio, including their assets and personnel. In 2019, cargo carrier, businesswings, which operates a fleet of Cessna Caravans and Dorniers 228, was purchased to complement the company’s time definite road transports with overnight express flights to destinations in the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, France, Italy, and Spain. On some routes, such as Madrid, this is done in close cooperation with long-standing partners such as Lufthansa Cargo’s subsidiary, time:matters.
Logistics expertise meets financial knowhow
Thanks to SUEDBG's investment, market observers expect that the Sovereign management will be encouraged to take over smaller, regional competitors, in this way accelerating its growth and solidifying its market position. Its new stakeholder, a subsidiary of the State of Baden Wuertemberg’s public LBBW bank, was chosen deliberately since it brings in broad expertise in acquisition activities and how to best finance those deals – bolstered by extensive monetary resources.
First A321XLR took off
Also in Hamburg, frame maker Airbus reports the maiden flight of its new Extra Long Range variant, A321XLR. The single-aisle jetliner took off on 15JUN22 at 11:05h CEST from Airbus’ own airfield in Hamburg-Finkenwerder, for a test flight that lasted 4 hours and 35 minutes.
On the occasion, Philippe Mhun, Airbus EVP Programs and Services, stated: “This is a major milestone for the A320 Family and its customers worldwide. With the A321XLR coming into service, airlines will be able to offer long-haul comfort on a single aisle aircraft, thanks to its unique Airspace cabin.”
The A321XLR is able to operate up to 8,700 km nonstop (4,700nm), burning 30% less fuel per passenger compared to previous-generation aircraft, as well as reduced NOx emissions and noise.
In total, the A320neo Family has accumulated over 8,000 orders from over 130 customers worldwide. Orders for the new A321XLR stood at more than 500 from more than 20 customers.
The new long-haul Airbus is of little use for air freight. To operate long haul routes, tanks were installed in the lower deck sections, which can hold 13,000 liters of fuel. This leaves little
space for accomodating cargo shipments.
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