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XPO pulls divestiture of European transportation unit

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday after the market closed, XPO announced it has pulled a planned divestiture of its European transportation unit due to the deterioration in capital markets.

“Due primarily to weakened capital markets in Europe, the company does not currently expect to divest its European business in the near term. The company does not undertake to provide any further updates on the status of the plan, except as may be required by applicable law,” a brief statement read.

Macroeconomic uncertainties and interest rate hikes to combat inflation across the globe are starting to sour investors’ appetites for risk, crimping deal flow.  

Exactly two years ago, XPO announced it would break up the transportation and logistics conglomerate it had amassed by acquiring a variety of assets over the last decade. The goal was to establish separate best-in-class entities garnering higher valuation multiples.

As part of the breakup, XPO spun off its contract logistics unit, now GXO (NYSE: GXO), in summer 2021. It sold its intermodal unit in March. Last month, it spun off RXO (NYSE: RXO), the nation’s fourth-largest truckload brokerage.

The last hurdle was making XPO a pure-play less-than-truckload business by jettisoning the European business, which it said it would accomplish through a sale or public listing on a European stock exchange.

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