Monday, August 17, 2015

Investment Group with Freight Forwarding and Logistics Interests Bids for Palletforce

Owner of NFT Wants Pallet Distribution Company with Road Haulage Shareholders
Shipping News Feature

UK – CHINA – The owner of Britain’s leading chilled food logistics distributors, NFT, has made a £30 million bid for pallet distribution network Palletforce. With over 100 freight depots managed by its 88 road haulage operator shareholders Palletforce saw increased volumes for the first half of its financial year, up by 20% to almost 1.5 million collections and deliveries. It is claimed the deal would see investment group EmergeVest, which already has interests in freight forwarding operations and logistics interests, offer an opportunity for Palletforce to expand globally.

The acquisition is subject to agreement by shareholders but the companies claim that the price means a substantial premium to the last traded share price in June 2015 through the matched bargain trading facility, meaning each shareholding member should benefit financially from the company's growth in revenue and profits. The bid actually comes from Forcefield Bidco, a newly incorporated company indirectly but wholly owned by EmergeVest, via the group’s EmergeVest Fund B LP, with Palletforce management guaranteed boardroom positions.

EmergeVest was formed in 2013 as a Hong Kong based, Grand Cayman registered business with both founding partners, Heath Zarin and Roger Moh, having formerly worked for HSBC’s Principal Investment Group. The investment group has a stake in Hong Kong-based Chinese apparel supplier J.D. United Manufacturing Corporation Ltd and in freight forwarder Allport Cargo Services and last year bought the UK’s leading chilled food logistics outfit, NFT, from investment group Phoenix Equity Partners. Michael Conroy CEO at Palletforce since 2008 feels the time is right to explore new opportunities saying:

“In EmergeVest, I believe we have the ideal partner to help us open up exciting new market and commercial opportunities, especially across Asia. Our vision is for Palletforce to become the world’s leading pallet network and today’s news takes us one step closer to that goal.”