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Keswick Enterprises extends CEE activities with new Polish logistics joint venture

Keswick Enterprises, the specialist UK-based private equity group, has entered into a new partnership to develop third-party supply chain management services in Poland. It has linked-up with Vector Global Logistics Sp. z.o.o., based in Gdynia, Poland, to create a brand-new logistics joint venture, Keswick Vector SCM Polska Sp. z.o.o. – which is 52% owned by Keswick Enterprises and 48% by Vector Global Logistics.

Although Keswick Enterprises already has long-established logistics operations in South East Europe – centred on Romania – this is the company’s first venture in Poland.

Keswick Vector SCM Polska will focus on developing warehousing and transport related supply chain management activities in Poland – building on Vector’s local expertise and Keswick Enterprises’ international logistics experience, particularly in the clothing & textiles, automotive, food & grocery, other FMCG and retail sectors. The new company will start with an initial 6,000 sq metres of world-class warehousing in Gdansk.

Keswick Enterprises was created in 2004 to develop and invest in supply chain related businesses, where through pro-active management it can add experience and expertise. Constituent businesses include Spatial (freight forwarding, warehousing/fulfilment, mail and courier), Link Logistics (contract logistics), SGL (co-packing/contract manufacturing) and Keswick Management Services (logistics consultancy) in the UK, plus Tibbett Logistics (contract logistics and intermodal transport) in Romania. In 2011, the group employed some 1,600 people and generated revenues of over EUR90 million.

Vector Global Logistics is a privately owned company established in Poland in 2000, initially as a dedicated liner agency for MOL (Mitsui OSK Lines), later developing its focus on international freight forwarding. Today, its principal activities include sea and air freight for Polish and global importers and retailers, and sea freight for Polish and other CEE exporters – with special expertise in refrigerated merchandise. The company operates its own consolidation services for goods from China and India, and provides logistics services for importers and retailers – with customs agency and trucking services from both Polish and German ports. The business has established joint ventures in Hong Kong and Moscow. It is a member of the Polish Freight Forwarders’ Association and has AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) status. 2011 revenues exceeded EUR10 million.

Marcin Gruchala, pictured, General Manager of Vector Global Logistics and Chairman of Keswick Vector SCM Polska, commented: "Entering a joint venture with Keswick Enterprises is a big strategic step forward for Vector Global Logistics, as global and domestic customers in Poland tend to be more advanced than the domestic logistics sector. This new joint venture gives us direct access to Keswick’s senior managements, expertise and international network. In 1984 Mr John Harvey, now Chairman of Keswick Enterprises, and his colleagues acquired Tibbett & Britten – a small UK clothing logistics business – and over the following two decades turned it into a £2,300 million-a-year logistics group, a pioneer in global third-party supply chain management. We are incredibly excited about the future of our new partnership."

Welcoming the creation of the new joint venture, John Harvey CBE, Chairman of Keswick Enterprises, added: "With our third-party logistics operations developing strongly in Romania and extending across South East Europe, we are now turning our attention to Poland. Vector is an excellent business, and we believe that the combination of its local knowledge and our international supply chain management expertise will facilitate development in the country and provide a focused new alternative for domestic and multi-national retailers and manufacturers looking for high quality logistics solutions.

"We expect to be in a position to make a further announcement about the development of the new Polish logistics joint venture shortly."

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