Logistics, Ports & Terminals

Japan Post putting the pressure on Toll

New Toll Group boss Michael Byrne is reportedly under heavy pressure from the displeased owner of the logistics group to “fix” the company quickly.

Japan Post acquired Toll in 2015 for $6.5 billion, but has since written off $4.9 billion of that value.

Byrne, who took over at Toll on January 1, reportedly told Fairfax this week he hopes to return the company to profitability after Japan Post executive Taneki Ono asked him to “fix it and hurry”.

“If you boil down probably 1000 pages of strategy, it’s fix it and hurry and get back to what we’re supposed to be doing – which is growing a world-class business model,” Byrne reportedly told the AFR this week.

Byrne reportedly believes Toll “lost its way,” expanding to too many countries and making 113 acquisitions over a dozen years. After growing to five divisions and 24 business units, the new-look toll now has three divisions, and 11 units, according to the report.

The pressure being applied by Japan Post is in part related to the continued recovery effort following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which led to a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The government sold 20% of its Japan Post share to fund the Toll acquisition, in part to support the continued re-homing of roughly 100,000 citizens who remain displaced after the disaster.

“We have a great moral obligation to help relieve those people of their suffering,” Byrne reportedly said.

“That has now been explained deeply to the Toll management.”

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