South African group Imperial Holdings is to buy Palletways from Phoenix Equity Partners for £163 million.
Imperial has significant logistics operations in continental Europe – turnover last year was €1.4 billion. The business is based in Germany, and activities include contract logistics, warehousing, inland waterway shipping and container port management, contract manufacturing in the chemical industry and related value-added services. It focuses on the automobile, steel, aluminum, paper and chemical industries.
Palletways will continue to be run as a standalone business within the Imperial Group. Johannesburg-based Imperial says it plans to continue Palletways’ existing growth strategy, with plans to invest further in geographical expansion, product and service development.
Palletways delivers 8 million pallets annually across Europe. The Palletways Group had a turnover of £237.1m in the year to 31st May 2015, while operating profit was £7m.
Mark Lamberti, chief executive officer at Imperial said: “Palletways’ business model and geographic reach will be complementary to our existing services and networks in the logistics sector. We admire the past achievements of the management team and look forward to working with them to enhance Palletways’ presence and service in the United Kingdom and Europe.”
CEO James Wilson said: “We would like to thank Phoenix for all their support. We are delighted to be working with Imperial as we move to the next stage of Palletways’ development by continuing to expand into new markets, while enhancing our member and customer experience. The Palletways management team shares a common vision with Imperial and remains fully committed to the business as we pursue our strategy for further growth. This is an exciting opportunity for Palletways, and all its members, to build on our success.”
In the UK, Imperial’s main business is currently commercial vehicle dealerships. Through its IH Mobility Holdings subsidiary it owns Imperial Commercial, Orwell Trucks, and S & B Commercials.