September 28, 2017: After the successful acquisition of Kenya-based forwarder Air Connection, Panalpina is now looking at acquiring the Dutch company Interfresh Airfreight Handling. With this acquisition in the Netherlands, Panalpina expands it global Perishables Network and offers a complete end-to-end solution on a global scale.

Interfresh specialises in the customs clearance and last-mile distribution of imported perishables from Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. In addition to imports from Kenya, they handle perishables from Sri Lanka, South Korea, Taiwan, Canada, Ethiopia, Turkey, Colombia and Ecuador.

As part of the takeover deal, Panalpina will acquire Interfresh Airfreight Handling as well as its sister companies Fresh Cargo Connection and Dutch Cargo Connection, subject to conditions. All three companies are wholly owned by CEO and founder of Interfresh, Sonja Kauffman. The parties reached a respective agreement on September 27, 2017.

“By acquiring Interfresh, we gain full control over the cool chain for one of the perishables industry’s most important trade lanes for flowers – from Nairobi to Amsterdam and beyond. It is also a logical transaction as the primary customer of Interfresh is Air Connection, the Kenya-based forwarder that we successfully acquired earlier this year,” says Panalpina CEO Stefan Karlen.

“The acquisition in the Netherlands is another significant step in building Panalpina’s global Perishables Network and offering complete end-to-end solutions on a global scale. It also exemplifies how we expand our presence and expertise in destination countries and at major transportation hubs for perishables,” concludes Karlen.

The latest acquisition allows Panalpina to expand its perishables offering in the Netherlands significantly. Fresh Cargo Connection acts as a fiscal representative for customers, and Dutch Cargo Connection provides services for other perishables such as fish, fruit, vegetables and mushrooms. Located at Schiphol Airport with offices, a cold storage facility and an experienced team, the three companies handle around 20,000 tonnes of perishables air freight per year.

“In more than ten years we have built a solid and respected business and steadily grown our perishables volumes. We are very proud of what we’ve achieved so far and now is the right time to secure further profitable growth, especially in the regions of Asia-Pacific and Latin America. Panalpina has the global network, tools and connections to help us achieve that,” says Sonja Kauffman, who founded Interfresh in 2004 and fully owns and leads all three companies as CEO.

Kauffman will join Panalpina as the new country head of Perishables for the Netherlands. The companies have agreed not to disclose any financial details of the deal.

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