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LONDON: January 04, 2017. Over the December holiday period reports surfaced of U.S. DIY retailer Home Depot considering the acquisition of XPO Logistics in a bid to compete with Amazon.com. According to David Jinks, head of Consumer Research for UK delivery company ParcelHero, the takeover is "highly unlikely" as it would harm XPO's many UK retail and manufacturing clients:

"Speculation was rife just before Christmas that Home Depot – the American equivalent of B&Q - was considering buying XPO Logistics – in part just to ensure that Amazon doesn't snap it up first!'

"Some retail analysts believe Home Depot's mooted XPO take-over would actually help it become an Amazon in its own right; controlling not just the sales but the means of delivery of a huge range of items.

"Home Depot is presumably mostly after the final mile/home delivery side of XPO, which is probably only around six percent of what the logistics giant does. Equally XPO probably only gains around five percent of its overall income from Home Depot - so there is precious little synergy.

"Most importantly, XPO is a logistic provider for many of the UK's major brands. It runs UK supply chain operations for companies from Ford to B&Q to Iceland.

"Three years ago U.S.-based XPO took over the huge European logistics company Norbert Dentressangle, which [had already] absorbed two British transport giants, Christian Salvesen and TDG. The company is so integrated into many British retailers' and manufacturers' operations that it has become what's known as a '4PL' – running fourth-party logistics and supply chain services for many of its business customers: from handling their returns and refurbishing products to operating their customer-help lines.

"This enormous supply-chain knowledge is likely to be undervalued by Home Depot - which would consider the takeover very much in the light of domestic U.S. furniture and DIY deliveries. This is a flawed idea and it's to be hoped it was nothing more than the result of pre-Christmas excitement."

XPO Logistics employs 91,000 people at 1,444 locations in 32 countries to help 50,000 customers manage their supply chains.

At the end of its third quarter last year, Home Depot operated 2,283 retail stores in 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam plus 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. The company employs more than 400,000 people.