Wincanton has reached an agreement for Ceva Logistics, a subsidiary of French shipping firm CMA CGM, to take it over in a £566.9m deal.

The acquisition values Wincanton at around £764.9m on an enterprise value basis, with shareholders receiving 450p per share in cash, a premium of around 52% to the closing share price on Thursday (18 January).

Ceva said the intended acquisition represented an attractive growth opportunity and a “unique opportunity to expand Ceva’s offering in the UK and to acquire complementary grocery and consumer expertise”.

Mathieu Friedberg, chief executive of Ceva, said: “In addition to the innovative logistics solutions that we could develop and offer together, we would be optimally positioned to answer even more supply chain challenges for our combined set of UK customers.”

Wincanton chairman Martin Read said: “This offer for Wincanton from CMA CGM is testament to the strength of the business we have built, our strategy, our strong customer relationships and our excellent people.

“CMA CGM is a highly-experienced operator in the industry, and as Wincanton becomes part of this larger business, it will be able to capitalise on the significant growth opportunities ahead.

“In unanimously recommending this offer to shareholders, the directors believe it is in the interests of all the company’s stakeholders.”

He added: “While we remain confident in the long-term prospects of Wincanton and the wider sector, we recognise that the strong performance of the company has not been reflected in the performance of its shares in recent years.

“We therefore believe this offer represents the best opportunity for shareholders to realise the value of their investment with greater certainty.”

The Wincanton board said it was highly confident in the long-term prospects of the business as an independent listed company, but that it had considered the attraction to Wincanton shareholders of the acquisition against the backdrop of near-term macroeconomic uncertainty.