May 31, 2015 / 9:42 PM / 3 years ago

Exclusive: XPO to raise $3.26 billion with an eye to more deals - sources

(Reuters) - XPO Logistics Inc will raise $3.26 billion through new equity and debt, partly to fund acquisitions, according to people familiar with the matter, just one month after a $3.53 billion deal to buy France’s Norbert Dentressangle SA.

The capital raising underscores XPO’s appetite for more mergers and acquisitions after the deal with Norbert Dentressangle gave it access to Europe’s largest logistics fleet network, as well as a fresh backlog of acquisition targets.

A consortium of 15 investors that include Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund and Canadian public pension funds Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Public Sector Pension Investment Board have agreed to provide $1.26 billion to XPO by acquiring 28 million of its shares, equivalent to 21 percent of its common stock, at $45 per share, the people said on Sunday. XPO’s shares closed at $49.16 on Friday.

XPO will also begin to market an issuance of $2 billion in high-yield bonds, the people added. XPO is expected to announce both the equity and debt offerings on Monday, the people said.

While some of the new funds will be used to finance the Norbert Dentressangle deal, which was announced on April 28, XPO will also deploy part of the money for new, unspecified acquisitions, the people said. The acquisitions could be up to $3.75 billion in size, one of the people added.

The sources asked not to be identified ahead of XPO’s official statement. A representative for XPO declined to comment.

Based in Greenwich, Connecticut, XPO is a provider of contract logistics, freight brokerage and global freight forwarding services to retailers, manufacturers and e-commerce companies among others.

Norbert Dentressangle was one of three acquisitions announced by XPO in the first half of 2015. XPO also announced an agreement to buy UX Specialized Logistics in February, and struck a deal earlier this month to buy U.S.-based Bridge Terminal Transport for $100 million.

GIC, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Public Sector Pension Investment Board had previously invested $700 million in XPO in September. The company could also partner with pension funds or sovereign wealth funds to fund large acquisitions, according to the sources.

Morgan Stanley placed the equity offering, according to the sources. Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co are working on the debt transaction, with JPMorgan handing the non-dollar denominated tranches, the people added.

Representatives for the banks did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reporting by Mike Stone in New York; Editing by Sandra Maler

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