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A private equity firm has put together six operators to form the UK’s largest privately owned logistics company, EV Cargo.
The companies, backed by Hong Kong-based EmergeVest, are Allport Cargo Services, Palletforce, CM Downton, Jigsaw, NFT and Adjuno.
The wide range of specialities in the group, from CM Downton, a haulier bought earlier this year by EmergeVest for £75m, to NFT, a cool chain specialist, and Adjuno, a supply chain software company, gives EV Cargo a solid logistics platform.
EV Cargo will have four main operating segments: express, global forwarding, logistics and technology.
EmergeVest appears to have been working towards this for some time. It bought Palletforce in October 2015 for £30m and Jigsaw was bought by CM Downton in 2009.In March this year, days after buying CM Downton, EmergeVest closed its logistics fund, having raised $205m.
The firm’s managing director, Heath Zarin, formerly head of HSBC principal investments Asia, becomes EV Cargo’s new chief executive, a move bound to trigger speculation over his experience in logistics. However, he is also currently chairman of Adjuno, Allport, NFT Distribution and Palletforce, and director of Hong Kong’s Cargo Services Group.
The six companies will retain their own identities, while “enjoying synergies and opportunities from being part of a wider group”.
And the new entity has ambitious growth plans. EmergeVest told UK media that combining the companies was the next step in “further investment and potential acquisitions, with the aim to becoming a £1bn a year business within five years”.
Further growth could be financed via an IPO, Mr Zarin added.
“We are a long-term investor and our five-year plan will consider a range of financing options to raise additional capital, including an initial public offering.”
The company said in a statement: “Operating under the group structure, EV Cargo will adopt a cargo-centric approach, focusing on customer needs across the entire supply chain by bringing together the best people, processes, technology and networks.”
It added that it hopes to “maximise opportunities for efficiency and growth across both existing and new markets. Continued investment across the network will fuel growth, drive acquisitions and ensure EV Cargo is powered by the best technology.“
Mr Zarin added: “These six firms are all best in class in their respective areas of specialisation and bringing them together is highly complementary. And although these are UK firms, our business is global, operating in more than 120 countries.”
You can find out more about EV Cargo here.