A bidding war for Wincanton is on the cards after it emerged that GXO has thrown its hat into the ring, in a move which could usurp Ceva Logistics’ £802m offer.

According to Sky News, the US supply chain management giant, which bought Clipper Logistics in 2022 for close to £1bn, has approached Wincanton about a potential offer.

Yesterday Wincanton issued a Stock Exchange announcement confirming it had received an eleventh-hour expression of interest from a ”potential competing bidder”, but did not reveal the bidder’s identity.

The statement also revealed that Ceva Logistics, which is a subsidiary of French shipping company CMA CGM, had upped its offer to buy Wincanton to over £802m. A succesful purchase would see it extend its reach into the UK.

Wincanton said it would ”carefully” consider the terms of any formal offer from the new contender but also made clear the board remained ”unanimous” in recommending Ceva Logistics’ increased offer.

Wincanton is now obliged, under Rule 21.3 of the Takeover Code, to provide the new contender with due diligence information, to enable it to decide whether or not to make a rival offer.

The statement said: ”Although the potential competing bidder has indicated that it is considering making a proposal, as of the date of this announcement, it has not provided the board of Wincanton with any formal proposal relating to a possible offer, including as to terms or price. 

”If any such proposal is provided by the potential competing bidder, the board of Wincanton will carefully consider its terms, in conjunction with its advisers.”

In January, Ceva Logistics put in an original bid, which valued Wincanton at around £764.9m on an enterprise value basis, which would see shareholders receive 450p per share in cash, a premium of around 52%.

Its latest increased and final offer price values Wincanton at approximately £802.7m on an enterprise value basis. This represents an increase of approximately 6.67% on 450p per Wincanton share.