Palletforce and NFT Distribution owner EmergeVest has bought CM Downton for £75m.

08 March 2018

EmergeVest, an international private equity investor, has announced its acquisition of CM Downton (Haulage Contractors) Limited (“Downton” or the “Company”), one of the UK’s leading logistics groups, in a £75 million transaction.

EmergeVest has acquired the entire shareholding from the Downton family and will provide additional capital to finance the Company’s growth. The Downton family will continue to serve in their respective roles as senior management of the Company. Investec Bank plc supported EmergeVest’s acquisition of the Company with an integrated debt package.

This investment marks EmergeVest’s seventh acquisition in the UK logistics sector since being formed in 2013. EmergeVest’s current UK portfolio includes Adjuno, Allport Cargo Services, NFT Distribution, NR Evans and Palletforce.

Established in 1955 and headquartered in Gloucestershire, UK, Downton generates annual revenue of c.£120 million, operates 600 tractor units and 1,800 trailers, and employs c.1,350 colleagues across a comprehensive UK network, including Moreton Valence (headquarters), Quedgeley, Shepton Mallet, Chepstow, Sharpness, Hardwicke, Tuffley, Runcorn, Manchester, Dunstable, Leeds, Chatham and Tilbury.

Downton’s client list includes some of the UK’s largest companies across a range of industry sectors, including food and drink, retail, manufacturing, ink and paper, print and publishing, energy, waste and consumer goods. Clients include AB InBev, Dyson, Whirlpool, Fever-Tree, Saica Paper, UPM-Kymmene Corporation, Frontline and Marketforce.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Heath Zarin, CEO and Managing Director of EmergeVest said: “We are excited at the opportunity to bring Downton into the EmergeVest family and to be investing in a business with such significant potential.”

Andy Downton, Managing Director of CM Downton, said: “The Downton family, along with a fabulous team of people, have built a first-class operation and one that we are extremely proud of. The sale of the business has not been taken lightly, however we have always understood the importance of growth and a proper succession plan. This business is now ready for fresh energy, vigour and focus. EmergeVest are the correct successors to achieve this. They have a great vision and are building an unrivalled UK network, encompassing freight forwarding, pallet, chilled and now our ambient network.”

Follow Us