EmergeVest acquires CM Downton for £75m

Private Equity firm EmergeVest has bought out logistics company CM Downton for £75 million. The private equity form’s UK logistics investments now turn over £700 million, putting it in the top 10 UK logistics companies.

In 2014 EmergeVest bought NFT Distribution and then in 2015 the Hong Kong private equity company bought Palletforce. Its portfolio now includes Allport, Adjuno Cargo Services and NR Evans.

CM Downton are based at Moreton Valance near Gloucester. Its customers include Dyson, AB Inbev, Fever Tree, Whirlpool, Saica Paper, Frontline and Marketforce. It has a turnover of around £120 million annually and operates a fleet of 600 trucks with 1800 trailers. 1,350 people are employed there and it has depots at Quedgeley, Shepton Mallet, Chepstow, Sharpness, Hardwicke, Tuffley, Runcorn, Manchester, Dunstable, Leeds, Chatham and Tilbury.

EmergeVest has acquired the entire shareholding from the Downton family and will provide additional capital to finance the company’s growth. Heath Zarin, chief executive and managing director of EmergeVest 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.”

The Downton family will continue to serve in their respective roles as senior management. Managing director Andy Downton said: “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 are the correct successors 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.”