Unitrans to buy out Concorde and TechXpress

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Unitrans, the South African logistics group, has bought the majority of shares in Concorde, the UK technical logistics company, in a deal worth £19.95m.

Under the terms of the agreement, Unitrans has acquired a 60 per cent majority shareholding within the two companies from directors Chris Grad, Steve Littley and Alan Elmes who will continue to own a 30 per cent interest. The remaining 10 per cent will be owned by key management and employees. The two companies will each retain their brand identities and operate under a new UK holding company Unitrans Logistics (UK) Limited. The move will enable Unitrans to expand its interests within the UK and European markets, whilst at the same time providing both Concorde and TechXpress with additional resources to fuel growth in the UK and act as a springboard to further expand their operations in mainland Europe.

Concorde is perhaps best known for its field service logistics which now accounts for over 50 per cent of the business, Project Logistics and Specialist Transport. Key markets include high growth sectors such as medical equipment, reprographics, IT and telecommunications.

TechXpress is a much younger company and together the companies have a £35m turnover with projected growth over the next 12 months of 15 per cent.

Philip Dieperink, financial director of Unitrans, believes that the merger is absolutely right for the Group and said: “We spent a great deal of time looking for a partner in the UK and in particular getting to know the team at Concorde and TechXpress. However we were satisfied that they are the right people to merge with and are very comfortable with them as an organisation.”

Chris Grad believes that the merger opens up a host of opportunities for both the Concorde and TechXpress brands. He commented: “Whilst both brands have continued to grow within the UK and also to an extent in Continental Europe the additional resource and strength that the Unitrans operation is able to offer us is tremendous.

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