NFT Distribution has acquired Carmarthenshire-based NR Evans in a deal that values the temperature controlled specialist at approximately £20m.

It is the third acquisition in the UK by NFT owner EmergeVest.

The Hong-Kong private equity investor bought NFT in April 2014 and Palletforce in August 2015 and MD Heath Zarin said it “would not be our last” acquisition in the UK.

“We are very excited about NFT’s domestic and international growth prospects and ability to provide an ever-expanding suite of leading edge services.

"This acquisition will not be our last and demonstrates EmergeVest’s confidence in the UK market as an investment proposition post-Brexit,” Zarin said.

The deal, which closed on 15 July, saw NFT Distribution Group acquire 100% of the shareholding of NR Evans (Holdings) and the transaction also included £13m of integrated debt funding.

NFT Chief executive David Frankish, said: “We… believe that the combination will not only create a considerable increase in scale, reach, and infrastructure, but also results in the emergence of NFT as a business with an increased international focus on grocery supply chains.”

For the year-ending 31 August 2015 NR Evans Holdings had a turnover of £41.3m, up 24.3% on £33.2m in the previous 12 month period. Pre-tax profit rose 57.8% to £2.4m, compared to £1.5m.

At NFT Distribution, for the 12 months to 31 March 2015, turnover fell 4% to £162.6m, compared with £169.4m the previous year. Pre-tax profit rose 28.7% to £2.2m.

NR Evans

With a combined turnover of approximately £204m NFT Distribution would become the 21st largest operator in the UK by turnover in the Motor Transport Top 100 compared to its ranking of 25th in 2015. It would also have a combined workforce of approximately 2,300.

NFT said that the addition of NR Evans’ business to its own strengthened its services in chilled, ambient, milk and FMCG and added nine NR Evans distribution facilities to its own, giving the combined group some 17 DCs nationwide.

Neil Evans, founder of NR Evans, said: “Having developed the NR Evans brand over a number of years I am extremely proud of what we have created, and I believe strongly in the potential of the combined NFT Group, and in our people who deliver service excellence day in day out to our customers.”

NFT opened its £25m, 230,000ft2 temperature controlled quayside distribution hub at the Port of Tilbury in April.