Telford-based Simmonds Transport has been bought by private equity investor Shilling Group in a £2.75m deal.

The Shropshire haulier, which is a member of Palletline and holds FORS  Gold accreditation, has been purchased by the trading arm of Birmingham-based private equity investor Shilling Group.

The equity investor group is planning to invest £3m in the company’s fleet and in reducing emissions.

Simmonds Transport, which was established in 1972, specialises in general haulage, pallet distribution and warehousing and operates from three depots in North Shropshire.

The company manages over 250,000 sq ft of warehousing, has an operating licence for 100 trucks and 130 trailers and employs around 100 staff.

In its most recent results for the year to 31 March 2023, Simmonds Transport reported a rise in turnover to £17m (2022: £15m). However pre-tax profit more than halved to £431,387 in the period.

Shilling Group bought Simmonds Transport by securing an invoice finance facility from Paragon Bank, which enabled the company to raise finance against Simmonds Transport’s debtor book from existing contracts, which it used to support the purchase and post-completion working capital.

Steve Holmes, Paragon senior sales manager for invoice finance, said: ”I am delighted to complete another transaction with Shilling Group.

“As a specialist invoice finance lender, we understand what is required to support a business acquisition and, through a close relationship with Shillling, we helped finalise the purchase of Simmonds Transport in the timelines required. 

”The debtor book is a great way to help in a sale and purchase of a business, and one that is sometimes overlooked.”

Bart Walkerdine, Shilling Group operations manager, added: “Having an institution such as Paragon backing our Simmonds Transport venture has given us the ability and confidence to begin executing a £3m programme to increase the efficiency and reduce the emissions of the Simmonds fleet as part of our overall growth strategy for the business.”