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Palletforce agrees terms of acquisition by EmergeVest

Palletforce Plc, a UK leader in express palletised distribution, has reached agreement on the terms of an acquisition by EmergeVest Fund B LP to acquire the entire shareholding of Palletforce, valuing the company at £30 million.

The acquisition will allow Palletforce to benefit from continued investment in its quality distribution services and see it build on its strong relationship with the 88 member companies making up the award-winning network.

With the sale of Palletforce at a substantial premium to the last traded share price in June 2015 through the matched bargain trading facility, each shareholding member is set to benefit financially from the company’s growth in revenue and profits.

The partnership with EmergeVest, which has logistics interests in the UK and China, will also create exciting international commercial opportunities for Palletforce and lead to the emergence of the company onto the global stage.

Working together with the present executive management team, EmergeVest has committed to retain and develop the existing business model and to uphold the partnership values with Palletforce network members. Palletforce believes this approach is critical to its ongoing success and underpins the ethos of all parties working together and for each other.

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.

EmergeVest owns NFT Distribution, a UK chilled food distribution specialist, has interests in Allport Cargo Services, a global freight forwarder, and has more than US$300 million of assets under management. It is primarily a growth-orientated investor and is particularly interested in investments in the supply chain, logistics and transportation sectors, especially in the UK and China.

The acquisition is subject to shareholder approval and a legal process which will take a number of weeks to complete.

John Brotherton, chairman of Palletforce, said: “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.”

Michael Conroy, chief executive officer of Palletforce, said: “The offer from 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.”

Heath Zarin, managing director of EmergeVest, said: “We are delighted to have reached agreement with the board of Palletforce on the terms of an offer. We have extensive experience in the transport and logistics sector via our participation in Allport Cargo Services and NFT Distribution. We are very impressed by the Palletforce management team and its network members. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to continue the successful development of the business.”

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