Knowles (1)

Cambridgeshire-based Knowles Transport has acquired a 100% shareholding in fellow 3PL warehousing & distribution provider Masters Logistical.

Based in Ely, Masters offers services across Cambridgeshire and East Anglia and is a member of the Palletline freight distribution network.

The acquisition comes at a period of significant growth for Knowles Transport. Financial results for the year ending 31 December 2020, showed the company made a profit of £2.5m – up from £2m in 2019. Turnover also increased by 5.8% to £38.4m.

Founded in 1932 and now in its third generation of family leadership, Knowles primarily serves the ambient food, drink and packaging sectors.

With a fleet of 325 vehicles and trailers, two million sq ft of warehousing space across two sites and a headcount of 380, its fleet will be bolstered by a further 42 vehicles and trailers, 85,000 sq ft of warehousing space - with expansion capabilities of a further 50% - and 30 members of staff.

Knowles MD Alex Knowles (pictured left) said: “Following a 100% growth in sales revenue over the past six years, Knowles Transport has committed further to its expansion goals by welcoming the company, and its people, on board and acted as an ideal opportunity to expand our operations right on our doorstep.

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“It is a match that is not only strategic, but being a 3PL warehouse and distribution specialist like ourselves, we felt that Masters Logistical was an excellent fit to bring on board. Furthermore, Masters' ethos, company values and customer centric approach are very much synonymous with our own.

“The acquisition acts as a significant milestone in the company’s history as we continue on our growth journey. With demand remaining buoyant for our services, the increase to our fleet as well as the increased warehousing capacity will allow us to further expand our operations as well as cater to the demands and needs of both existing and new customers – ultimately helping to facilitate further growth.

“We are delighted to have successfully completed the acquisition of Masters Logistical – which under the Knowles umbrella will continue to trade under its name, offer its full range of services and retain its status as a long-standing shareholder member of the Palletline network. We are proud to be welcoming such an established and well-respected brand into the Knowles family.”

Added Paul Upton (right), MD of Masters Logistical: “I am very excited to have found a suitable successor for the business. Sharing our family values Knowles Transport will continue to grow and develop the business ensuring its future success.

“We would like to thank our loyal staff, customers and suppliers for the support and encouragement they have given us over many years and we wish them all the greatest of success.”

Graham Leitch, group MD of Palletline said the acquisition was a positive step for both organisations: “Both Masters Logistical and Knowles share the same customer-centric ethos and we are looking forward to continuing to work with Masters Logistical under the Knowles umbrella,” he said.

Brett Cooper, head of corporate, Backhouse Jones commented: “We were delighted to act with Alex, Stuart and the team at Knowles on this transaction and to see them go from strength to strength. Both businesses have many synergies which we believe will provide a fruitful basis for future growth."