City Link vans

The Hub wishes it had come up with that headline, but sadly The Sun got there first this morning. It is pretty accurate though when it comes to the sale of City Link (that Rentokil sold it for £1 says it all) and as far as the deal goes it is about time as it has been festering for a while.

Arguably it is possibly too soon to pass comment on the sale until the strategy of Better Capital becomes clearer. Better Capital has said it will invest £40m in the business to provide "more than sufficient funding" required by City Link to complete its turn-around plan. But what will be interesting is seeing how much more cash City Link will drain through the first year or two, as this dowry will only last so long!

That said better capital has some pedigree behind it. Jon Moulton, the outspoken venture capitalist formerly at Alchemy Partners runs the investment firm. He is perhaps best known for the deal he never did: the bid to buy MG Rover from BMW back in 2000, but he doesn't have a personal fortune of £170m for nothing.

City Link is in the right market, as online deliveries (sorry, multi-channel retail)  is the boom sector. Some (with a red, white and black livery for example) are making some serious money out of it, some (with a green and red livery for example) are not doing as well. City Link has got to yank itself into profitability, and quickly, in order to make the most of this £40m windfall.

The current City Link management team has enough experience to do this. MD Dave Smith has been in and around the logistics industry since the late 1990s, starting on the client side with RS Components. He had nine years at Royal Mail, first as finance director, then MD of Parcelforce and  latterly as chief customer officer for the group. He might have told us last year that he didn't join City Link for a sale, but that is the route the company has gone down and now is the time for him to cement his reputation in the industry.

Back in 1982 Ken Bates bought Chelsea football club for £1, while taking on debts of £1.5m. He sold it to Roman Abramovich in 2003 for £140m. It Better Capital have anything like this level of success with their £1 bargain then City Link will no longer been seen as the problem child of the industry.