Freight Transport Association

Multimodal 2019

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​Emergevest acquires CM Downton in £75 million transaction

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EmergeVest 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.”

EmergeVest was advised on this transaction by:

• Ashurst – Legal

• KPMG – Financial due diligence and tax

CM Downton was advised on this transaction by:

• Osborne Clarke – Legal

• KPMG – Corporate finance

Financing for the transaction is being provided by Investec Bank plc

​Separately, CM Downton has signed an £8m deal to renew its distribution contract with Prinovis for another five years.

Under the partnership, which began in 2010, CM Downton will continue to distribute Prinovis’ printed materials direct from its Speke plant to  customers across the UK.

As part of the deal Downton will base staff on site to liaise with the plant’s production and warehouse teams and plan loads.

The Gloucestershire-headquartered firm will also maintain eight vehicles at Prinovis’ site to fulfil deliveries, with additional capacity provided by CM Downton’s national fleet of 600 tractor units and 1,800 trailers.

CM Downton business development head David Hutchings, said:

“This contract extension is testimony to the excellent service and strong relationship that we have built with Prinovis UK over the past eight years.

"Our on-site team goes that extra mile and provides the close support that makes a real difference to the day-to-day operation.

“Overall the contract is another example of how we configure and deliver highly effective integrated solutions for our clients across the UK print, publishing and paper industry.”

Last month CM Downton sealed a deal with soundproofing manufacturer Rockfon to supply it with warehousing and distribution.

Downton Group company Jigsaw is exhibiting at Multimodal on stand 6070

Opening Times

Tues 18th June 2019 10:00 - 17:00

Awards/VIP Dinner 19:00 - 24:00

Wed 19th June 2019 10:00 - 19:00

Multimodal Mixer 17:00 - 19:00
(Late night opening & happy hour)

Thurs 20th June 2019 10:00 - 15:00


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