The Overseas Investment Office has approved the sale of the courier service, Fastway, to the Dubai-based logistics group, Aramex, for just over $125 million.

Fastway has 270 franchisees in New Zealand and was founded by Bill McGowan in Napier in 1983. One year later, in 1984, it became the first courier company to operate on a franchise model. It currently has operations in New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Northern Ireland and South Africa, with 1,500 franchise-holders.

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Aramex said the acquisition was underpinned by strong demand for online shopping deliveries. It operates in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong-Kong, China and Australia.


Chief executive of Aramex Asia, Othman Aljeda, said it would deliver significant competitive advantages for both companies

"New Zealand and Australia are two of the most rapidly growing e-commerce markets in the region and by acquiring Fastway we can serve more businesses and consumers online and through our strengthened distribution network. The acquisition now makes us present in New Zealand for the first time and strengthens our existing operations in Australia".

Fastway chairman Brem Ellingham said: "We've come a long way since our humble beginnings in Hawkes Bay in 1983. This latest step in the Fastway journey will provide an opportunity to further build on the value we deliver our customers and partners through improved service and product offerings and the backing of a major global logistics player in Aramex."

The Australian Financial Review says there is speculation Australia Post may look to buy Aramex now it has completed the Fastway deal.