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Allport Cargo Services (ACS) is to acquire French sea freight forwarder ECT, with an eye on increasing European service offerings.

The deal, for which no price has been announced, is expected to be complete by the end of June, ACS acquiring all ECT companies and rebranding them under its own name.

The two companies have been in a long-term partnership with ACS’s NVOCC, Far East Cargo Line. ACS group chief executive Charles McGurin said he was pleased with the deal.

“ECT will help ACS better service our French and other European customers, and I am very happy [its founder] Eric Coicaud will remain as head of ECT to drive its development,” he added.

“We are very excited about the opportunities this acquisition will bring to our group.”

As well as sea freight, ECT operates logistics (ECL) and transport (ECC) divisions; it also owns a 12,500 sq metre bonded warehouse outside the port of La Havre with space for 17,000 pallets.

Earlier this month it expanded its coverage, opening two new offices in Nantes and Bordeaux, with a focus on increasing wine and food exports to China.

Mr Coicaud said he looked forward to adding ACS’s retail supply chain expertise to ECT’s range of services.

Neither company responded to requests for comment.

Meanwhile, it has been a busy few days in terms of M&A activity in the retail logistics area: yesterday, UK-based Clipper Logistics announced it was set to acquire warehousing and distribution service provider Tesam for £11.75m.

Tesam operates from three sites in the Peterborough area, with more than 100,000sq metres of space and employing around 250 people. Clipper said last year Tesam recorded annual revenue of £19.6m and a pre-tax profit of £1.8m, and had an asset base worth £3.1m.

Clipper executive chairman Steve Parkin said: “Tesam is a successful and robustly profitable and cash generative business, which we have known for some time. The acquisition, coupled with our planned investment in additional capacity, will enable us to offer existing and prospective customers of both Clipper and Tesam greater operational flexibility, and will provide further headroom for the delivery of our strong business pipeline.”

Tesam’s main shareholder, MD Stephen Smith, will become a consultant to the group after the deal is completed.

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