UK-headquartered food logistics specialist Culina Group has agreed to take over UK counterpart GreenWhiteStar Acquisitions – owner of Eddie Stobart and several other freight businesses – with immediate effect, creating a £2.2 billion (US$3 billion) turnover logistics business with a focus mainly on fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).
The terms of the transaction, including the price paid, have not been disclosed.
GreenWhiteStar Acquisitions comprises Eddie Stobart, Eddie Stobart Europe, iForce, The Pallet Network, and The Logistics People.
“With an overall turnover of more than £2.2 billion, a combined workforce of around 22,000 staff, approaching 20 million square feet of warehousing and a joint fleet of more than 5,500 vehicles, Culina Group has significantly strengthened its market leading position in the FMCG Logistics sector with this acquisition,” the group said.
It said GreenWhiteStar Acquisitions “will benefit from private ownership with protection of their brands for years to come. The move will also provide job retention, investment, and will bring an entrepreneurial spirit, the statement underlined.”
Commenting on the deal, Culina Group CEO, Thomas van Mourik, said: “GreenWhiteStar Acquisitions and Culina Group are complementary businesses, two very strong organisations with great reputations in the industry and with similar cultures. This is an excellent fit which is going to be fantastic for both our staff and for our clients, whilst making Culina Group the largest FMCG logistics provider in the UK.”
He continued: “It goes without saying that we are acquiring some excellent contracts, facilities and people. This move significantly expands our ambient network and will enable us to benefit from synergies and efficiencies that will improve our service offer to customers even further.”
The acquisition extends the existing Culina Group network to over 100 “strategically-located distribution centres in the UK following the addition of the 40 plus facilities operated by GreenWhiteStar Acquisitions. Culina Group is now the largest privately owned logistics provider in the UK and a business that is undisputed in terms of service,” the group added.
GreenWhiteStar executive chairman, William Stobart, remarked: “Culina Group recognises that it is investing in a highly successful business with its own great family spirit. Culina Group’s aim now is to support our growth trajectory with the added workforce infrastructure and resources of the overall Group.”
He added: “The GreenWhiteStar Acquisitions Board are extremely pleased to take the group businesses back to private ownership. The combining of our two businesses will create major opportunities for significantly growing our market share.”
Going forward, William Stobart will take a seat on the Culina Group Board “for the long term as deputy group CEO. The primary aim is to ensure that all current and prospective customers continue to benefit from market-leading levels of service”. the company added.
Culina Group is an established market-leading ambient and chilled food & drink 3PL specialist providing warehousing, distribution, contract packing, and services for bonded goods across the UK and Ireland. Culina Group companies include Culina Logistics, Great Bear Distribution, Fowler Welch, AIM Logistics, CML, Morgan McLernon, IPS, FoodPack, MMiD, Warrens, and Unity Resourcing.
It works with global leading brands and manufacturers plus own-label producers and developing companies, with a strategic focus on food and drink logistics within a shared-user environment, “driven by volume and critical mass to deliver efficient and cost-effective solutions for clients of all sizes”.
GreenWhitestar Acquisitions Limited (GWSA) comprises of five well-known businesses. Eddie Stobart is a leading transport and logistics business providing services to many of the UK’s best-known brands. Eddie Stobart Europe operates pan European services with 250 trucks, from specialist car transporters to general cargo vehicles that are based in Belgium, Czech Republic and Bulgaria.
The Pallet Network is one of the UK’s largest palletised freight distribution service providers with over 120 regional partners operating from over 150 locations. And GreenWhitestar’s iForce business provides e-commerce logistics, fulfilment, returns processing and carriage management solutions for leading UK brands and retailers.
The Logistics People is a temporary staff provider to the logistics industry, specialising in the recruitment of drivers and industrial workers and provision of site security, managed from a centralized 24/7 monitoring suite.