EmergeVest completes Palletforce takeover

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EmergeVest, the Hong Kong-based private equity investor, has completed its £30 million takeover over Palletforce.

PF1The deal has been put together through a new company, Forcefield Bidco, enabling the Palletforce executive management to invest in the business.

Palletforce now had total network revenue of some £77m in the year ended 31 August 2014. In the six months to 28 February 2015 the Palletforce network collected and delivered nearly 1.5m pallets, an increase of 20 per cent over the corresponding period in the previous year.

Palletforce chairman John Brotherton said: “The sale of Palletforce at a substantial premium to the last traded share value allows our shareholders to benefit financially from our impressive growth in revenue and profits.”

EmergeVest is a Hong Kong based investment management business with over $300m under management. It already has interests in NFT Distribution and Allport Cargo Services.

The reasons for the Palletforce sale were set out in the offer document, which was published in August. It said: “Notwithstanding the strong income flow from dividends, there has been a desire on the part of certain shareholders for the board to provide them with an exit opportunity.

“While in recent years the board has received a number of approaches and has opened discussions with certain other networks to study consolidation opportunities that might improve efficiency and shareholder returns, none of these initiatives proved to be of sufficient interest and value or got to a sufficiently advanced stage to cause the board to make a recommendation to shareholders.

“When the company was first approached by EmergeVest, the directors considered its experience and intentions were of sufficient interest to pursue detailed discussions which have culminated in the agreed terms for this acquisition.”

Palletforce was advised by Cattaneo. Brotherton said: “The Cattaneo team did an excellent job of guiding us through the negotiations and technicalities of the sale process and, in particular, the extensive due diligence exercise undertaken by EmergeVest as part of their acquisition process.”

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