Import Services Southampton

Xpediator’s latest acquisition will be followed by more this year.

Yesterday it announced the purchase of Southampton-based Import Services Ltd (ISL) in a deal worth a reported £12m.

And it said negotiations for two more takeovers were “well progressed”, with further news expected in the final quarter.

ISL is Xpediator’s fourth takeover since it publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) last year.

Chief executive Stephen Blyth told The Loadstar it had strengthened the company’s network, particularly its relationship with Amazon.

“With this deal we have added Southampton to our network, adding to Birmingham, Felixstowe and Heathrow,” said Mr Blyth.

“Those locations were opened up by the Anglia acquisition, completed last November, which like this one was sought after due to the strong relationship with Amazon.”

The company will pay an initial £9m for ISL, comprising £6m in cash and £3m in shares, with an additional £3m to be paid depending on results and Xpediator’s May 2020 value.

“ISL’s position, within the port of Southampton in particular, is a significant commercial advantage upon which our enlarged group can expand,” added Mr Blyth.

“There is [also] scope to expand our capabilities around port services and [it] provides an opportunity to occupy a further 20,000 sq metres of warehousing space in the future.

“The combination of these factors make us confident that ISL will be a strongly earnings-accretive acquisition for the group.”

With more deals in the pipeline, Mr Blyth sought to quash any idea that Xpediator was rushing into things, noting that the ISL deal had been on the table since September.

He also said that the company wasn’t looking merely to “buy its way” to growth; 40% organic business growth was recorded in 2017 over 2016.

“This year we are hoping to maintain this momentum of strong organic growth, targeting around the 25% mark,” Mr Blyth continued. “We are not a company purely based on M&A and believe our organic figures are growing very nicely.”

Funding for the ISL deal will come from a share placement on the AIM launched yesterday, which is expected to raise around £7m.

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