Monday, October 12, 2015

Road Haulage Distribution Deal Finalised as Pallet Freight Specialist Sold Off

Investment Fund Takes Control of UK Based Network
Shipping News Feature
UK – As we reported some months ago EmergeVest owner of NFT Distribution, the chilled food distribution specialist, has successfully bid for UK road haulage outfit Palletforce Plc. The £30 million valuation from a new company, Forcefield Bidco Ltd, which was set up in July 2015 by the EmergeVest Fund and Palletforce's executive management, was accepted, and the deal is now complete with the new owner committed to retaining and developing the existing business model and to uphold the partnership values with established Palletforce network members.

Palletforce was formed in 2001 and operates from a 400,000 square foot central hub in Burton, Staffordshire with an additional 100 depots across the UK and Europe. With the sale of Palletforce, at a substantial premium to the last traded share price in June 2015 through the matched bargain trading facility, it is said each shareholding member will benefit financially from the company's growth in revenue and profits.

EmergeVest can claim more than US$300 million of assets under management, both in Europe and China and including interests in freight forwarder Allport Cargo Services. John Brotherton, chairman of Palletforce, said:

"The sale of Palletforce at a substantial premium to the last traded share value allows our shareholders to benefit financially from our impressive growth in revenue and profits. This acquisition will bring new opportunities for the Palletforce business and represents a superb return for shareholders. The needs of our network members have been uppermost in our discussions with EmergeVest and they can be confident that their interests have been respected. I am convinced that the highly successful management team at Palletforce will take this business to new heights. EmergeVest will be a supportive partner to them and our members."

Palletforce has experienced significant growth across the UK and Europe and was recently crowned 'Logistics Supplier of the Year' at The Grocer Gold awards. Volumes in the first six months of the current financial year increased by 20% as the Palletforce network collected and delivered nearly 1.5 million pallets. Michael Conroy, chief executive officer of Palletforce, commented:

"[The deal with] EmergeVest will allow Palletforce to continue its class-leading quality service with a real focus on investing in the strong relationship we have with our network members. The move will allow us to write a new chapter in the company's history as, 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."