Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines has today agreed to acquire Distribution and Auto Service Inc. (DAS) from Nissan North America, Inc. effective April 30, 2005. Included in the acquisition is the DAS subsidiary, Annacis Auto Terminals (1997), Ltd. Through the acquisition, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines will offer truly independent value-added logistics management services to automotive vehicle manufacturers in North America, reinforcing its growing position as a market leader in finished vehicle supply chain logistics.
DAS, headquartered in Wilmington, CA, operates U.S. based facilities in: Smyrna TN; Canton MS; Newport News VA; Jacksonville FL; Elizabeth NJ; Lafayette IN; Los Angeles CA. Annacis Auto Terminals is located in Delta B.C. (Canada). Together, DAS and Annacis Auto Terminals have 1,200 employees and handle 1.6 million vehicles annually. There are no plans for changes in employment levels or core operations.
“These are excellent companies with dedicated employees who operate these businesses very effectively,” said Christopher J. Connor, President of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines Americas.
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines will hold 50% of the DAS shares, while the remaining 50% will be held by industry investor Manuel Antelo. Mr. Antelo is President of Car One Argentina, a member of the board of directors of Renault Argentina, and brings over 20 years experience in automotive parts supply, car manufacturing and logistics services. Operational responsibility for DAS will be placed under the Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines corporate umbrella.
The DAS acquisition follows the 40% stake that Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines took in July 2001 in CAT ’ Compagnie d’Affretement et de Transport, which specializes in the distribution of vehicles, manufactured goods and spare parts in 14 countries.
“The acquisition of DAS is a significant step forward in our global logistics strategy, and creates a new, independent finished vehicle logistics company in North America,” says Connor. “The scale and scope of the existing DAS network will provide an excellent opportunity for us to develop efficient distribution solutions for other automobile manufacturers in the competitive North American market.” Mr. Connor will serve as Chief Executive Officer of DAS.