Should Get Around UPS, FedEx Complaints About 'Foreign'
Ownership and Control
DHL is positioning itself to compete
fiercely for Pentagon contracts. That's the quick and obvious
conclusion drawn by industry analysts, as they reacted to the news
that DHL Chairman and CEO John Dasburg and select
U.S. investors will purchase all the outstanding shares of DHL
A protectionist law, disguised under a cloak of concern for
national security, says that major DoD transportation contracts
need to be signed only with US-owned and -controlled firms. That
law came up, provocatively, as the nation girded for the war action
against Iraq. As the country went to war in the middle east, the cargo companies went to war in the
lobbies of D.C., provoking DHL to do some major
restructuring. DHL's latest action is an object lesson on how the
markets cannot be bent around government decrees, as
DHL's realignment continues, with this latest announcement
from DHL Airways:
DHL Airways announced Wednesday that a U.S. investor group, led
by its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Dasburg, has
reached an agreement to purchase all of the outstanding shares of
DHL Airways, Inc. Dasburg said that the transaction will further
solidify the airline's U.S. control and management, while putting
the company on a new path toward becoming a global air cargo
leader. The name of the company will be changed in the near
The other members of the investment group
are Richard C. Blum, Chairman of San Francisco-based Blum Capital
Partners, L.P., a leading private equity firm, and Michael R.
Klein, a Washington, D.C. business executive and lawyer who is
co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of CoStar Group,
According to Dasburg, the company will continue to focus on what
has been its core business - "wholesale" overnight "small package"
business - while at the same time looking for attractive
opportunities to expand its charter, Department of Defense, and
Postal Service business. Growth will occur both through internal
expansion and through future acquisitions. The airline also will
improve utilization of its existing fleet of 40 aircraft for
additional charter opportunities.
Dasburg currently owns 5% of the airline. The remaining shares
of DHL Airways are being purchased from Idaho private investor
William A. Robinson and from DHL Holdings (USA), Inc.
The prospective owners expect to complete the acquisition of DHL
Airways by June 30, 2003 and plan to operate the airline as a
privately held company. Dasburg will continue to serve as Chairman
and CEO, a position he assumed on April 1, 2003. The acquisition is
subject to approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
DHL Airways also announced that, upon
completion of the sale of the company, it would enter into a new
11-year agreement to provide air cargo services for DHL Worldwide
In announcing the details of the acquisition, Dasburg emphasized
that DHL Airways is now -- and will continue to be -- an American
company. "DHL Airways is all-American owned and all-American
managed. It employs nearly 1,000 Americans," said Dasburg. Dasburg
also noted that the airline and its employees were actively engaged
in providing service to the U.S. Department of Defense during the
Iraqi conflict, and currently serves the U.S. military with
missions to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico,
Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany, and other military bases around
the world. The company is headquartered in Miami, Florida.