By Daniel Hunter

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the transport and logistics sectors pass £40 billion in 2015, according to accountants KPMG.

KPMG figures show that the first quarter of 2015 has already seen completed global transactions worth £6.7bn, and further acquisitions valued at £6.7bn (excluding FedEx's takeover of TNT Express). In 2014 the increase in the volume of transactions resulted in £39.6 billion worth of deals.

The report found that purchase prices rose which meant that the average business valuation of transactions in the transport sector increased in 2014 to 11.9x, compared to 9.0x in 2013. This was due to the increase in strategic acquisitions and the increased appetite for takeovers of transport companies combined with low availability of suitable target companies that are for sale. The trend is set to continue in 2015, KPMG said.

UK head of transport at KPMG, James Stamp, said: “Total deal values of transport & logistics transactions in 2014 amounted to £39.6 billion and we expect this figure to be superseded in 2015. In addition to high-volume transactions for the purpose of inorganic growth (particularly by US companies as a result of the strength of the US dollar) we expect selective acquisitions of specialized IT and e-commerce companies will increasingly shape the M&A strategies of transport companies.”