From left to right - Jonathan Smith, CEO, The APC. Andy Mayne, Relationship Director, Barclays. Mark Fletcher, Finance Director and Company Secretary, The APC.

(Left to right) APC chief executive Jonathan Smith; Barclays relationship manager Andy Mayne; and APC finance director and company secretary Mark Fletcher

Independent parcel delivery network APC Overnight has announced an ownership restructure aimed at significantly expanding its existing share base.

The move has been facilitated by investment from Barclays and will look to drive growth and service enhancements to APC's SME customers.

The company said the restructure would see it embrace one of its founding principles whereby every depot has the opportunity to own a part of the company.

The restructure also allows employees of the company to become shareholders.

APC Overnight is owned by 36 shareholders of which 32 are depot owners, with the remainder of the 116 depots operating under a licence agreement.

Every depot is treated equally although depots and shares do change hands if members retire and are able to sell their business and shares separately.

There are a number of shareholders who own more than one depot in the network, but ownership of shares is carefully controlled to ensure no one is able to gain a controlling interest.

Barclays’ investment comes off the back of a strong 12-year relationship with APC, and highlights its commitment to backing and supporting UK businesses in both successful, and more challenging times, the company said.

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APC recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and last year enjoyed 3.5% year-on-year growth in turnover to £109m and a total gross profit of £15.6m.

Last year also saw a boom in its ‘Fragile & Liquids’ sortation, the company said, following investment to expand its sortation facilities, enabling it to process more fragile deliveries per hour in line with a rise in consumer demand from online retailers.

Plans for 2020 include capacity, customer base and service expansion. The company also aims to build on the potential of its depots, particularly, through expanding their same-day delivery capabilities.

“This ownership restructure unlocks a whole range of opportunities," explained APC Overnight chief executive Jonathan Smith. "It enables us to build on our unique strengths, continue our commitment to better serve the UK’s SMEs, and further develop our existing relationship with Barclays.

"In focusing on the future, we are keeping our customers and people at the forefront of our plans.

“Over the last 25 years, our dedicated network of depots across the UK has been the driving force behind our success. Giving our depots the opportunity to become shareholders celebrates the key role they play in enabling our services as the only carrier exclusively focused on serving the needs of SMEs.

"This unique position in the marketplace is a source of immense pride for us, and something that we will continue to deliver over the next 25 years of The APC.”

Added Barclays relationship director Andy Mayne: “Having supported APC over the last 12 years we are delighted to continue to be their funding partner for the next phase of their growth, building on the foundations of an already successful business model.”

Coolin Desai, partner at PwC, which advised The APC, said: "APC has developed substantially since inception and this extended partnership with Barclays positions it well for further expansion of the services provided to SMEs."