European-focused forwarder Delamode has acquired Benfleet Forwarding, a logistics provider with offices in the UK, Italy and Romania.
For the year ended March 31, 2017, UK-based Benfleet generated revenue of £21.0m and recorded an operating profit of £1.35m.
Benfleet is an asset-light operation providing freight forwarding services including road transport and ocean freight shipments. On completion, the enlarged Group will operate from five sites in the UK together with 11 offices in Europe and employ over 650 people.
Established in 1987, Benfleet specialises in the movement of flooring, machinery, household goods and garments. In 2015, Benfleet secured a significant Chinese customer with which it entered into a six-year contract and which Xpediator believes could result in further cross-selling opportunities.
Xpediator, Delamode’s holding company, underwent an IPO in August 2017, listing on the AIM. This move was in part made to help facilitate the company’s M&A strategy.
Stephen Blyth, Xpediator CEO, commented, “We know the Benfleet business well and we are confident it will be a commercially valuable and accretive acquisition for us. Benfleet shares our asset light approach to freight forwarding and will add significantly to our sea freight activities.
“Our client bases are similar but do not have significant overlap and while our services our comparable our geographic focuses are different. There are therefore immediate opportunities to provide greater geographic coverage to both client bases and we have identified duplicated costs.
“Our strategy is to grow not only organically but also by acquiring smaller competing businesses which can enhance the Group’s earnings and enhance our services to existing and new clients. This acquisition meets these criteria and we look forward to integrating Benfleet alongside our Delamode freight forwarding activities.”
Delamode stated that potential benefits arising from the acquisition include the development of a presence in Italy, Greece, Turkey and Portugal, which are outside Delamode’s core European regions; the opportunity for cost synergies through increased group buying in areas such as haulier procurement; and the addition of offices in Dover and Felixstowe, leaving the enlarged company well placed to facilitate future customs clearance activity in the event of a hard border post-Brexit.
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