Europa deal L to R Luc Maene, Leen Lefevere, Etienne Lefevere, Andrew Baxter, Rob Ross

Europa Worldwide Group has made the first of a promised series of acquisitions with the purchase of Continental Cargo Carriers (CCC).

The cross-Channel ro-ro specialist has headquarters in Ostend, Belgium as well as a presence in the Czech Republic and the UK.

Purchased for an undisclosed sum, CCC operates a 13,000ft² warehouse in Ostend and 270 trailers, employing 100 people.

Andrew Baxter, Europa’s MD, said the central goal behind this acquisition is to strengthen Europa’s part load service to and from the UK.

“This acquisition is not about Europa expanding outside of the UK market. It is about strengthening our offering to and from the UK.

The acquisition will not affect any of our groupage partnerships. Even in Belgium our groupage operation will remain unchanged and our aspiration is for all of CCC’s team to stay in place,” he said.

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Baxter added: “Continental Cargo Carriers is the ideal fit for our road division, as it has a proven track record and a solid customer base.”

Baxter said that while CCC’s Belgium transport and Czech trucking operations would remain largely the UK operation – based at Dover and Ramsgate – will be integrated with the Europa operation.

“I’d like to see us completing a couple of acquisitions of this size a year for the next few years – continuing to strengthen our offering across all of our four divisions, and I look forward to personally welcoming CCC’s staff to our team,” said Baxter.

Etienne Lefevere, director at CCC, said: “We believe becoming part of Europa Worldwide Group perfectly fits in CCC NV's strategy to further develop its successful part loads service, implement top notch IT solutions to support further growth and provide the best possible service to our long-standing customer base.

In the year to 31 December 2017, Europa Worldwide Group had a turnover of £144.4m, a 24% increase on 2016’s £116.4m. Pre-tax profit climbed almost 39% to £3.2m compared with £2.3m a year earlier.

Image (from left): Luc Maene, financial director (FD), CCC; Leen Lefevere, manager, CCC; Etienne Lefevere, director, CNN; Andrew Baxter, MD Europa Worldwide; Rob Ross, FD, Europa Worldwide.