Palletforce and NFT Distribution owner EmergeVest has bought CM Downton for £75m.

The deal sees EmergeVest acquire the entire shareholding from the Downton family.

The Downton family will, however, continue to serve in their respective roles as senior management of the company.

EmergeVest has been acquiring companies in the UK logistics sector since its formation in 2013.

Led by CEO and MD Heath Zarin, EmergeVest’s current UK portfolio includes supply chain software company

Adjuno, Allport Cargo Services, NFT Distribution, NR Evans (now part of NFT), and Palletforce.

Read more

Established in 1955 with its headquarters in Gloucestershire, CM Downton had a turnover of £117m for the year ending 30 June 2017, and made a pre-tax profit of £5m.

It runs 600 tractor units and 1,800 trailers, employing 1,350 people at locations including Moreton Valence (its headquarters), Quedgeley, Shepton Mallet, Chepstow, Sharpness, Hardwicke, Tuffley, Runcorn, Manchester, Leeds, Dunstable, Chatham and Tilbury.

Downton serves a range of industry sectors, including food and drink, retail, manufacturing, ink and paper, print and publishing, energy, waste and consumer goods. Clients include AB InBev, Dyson, Whirlpool, Fever-Tree, Saica Paper, UPM-Kymmene Corporation, Frontline and Marketforce.

Zarin said: “We are excited at the opportunity to bring Downton into the EmergeVest family and to be investing in a business with such significant potential.”

Andy Downton, MD at CM Downton, said: “The Downton family, along with a fabulous team of people, have built a first-class operation and one that we are extremely proud of.

“The sale of the business has not been taken lightly, however, we have always understood the importance of growth and a proper succession plan.

“This business is now ready for fresh energy, vigour and focus. EmergeVest is the correct successor to achieve this. They have a great vision and are building an unrivalled UK network, encompassing freight forwarding, pallet, chilled and now our ambient network.”