Burton distribution giant Palletforce has acquired Hastings-based Dobbs Logistics – following support from law firm Shakespeare Martineau.

Palletforce – a subsidiary of global freight and supply chain giant EV Cargo – is set to strengthen its network as a result of the deal, providing customers with a service partner in a key location in the South East. Hong Kong-headquartered EV Cargo has made the investment as part of its commitment to developing its Palletforce subsidiary.

The team, which acted for Palletforce, was led by corporate partner Michael Stace.

Mark Tapper, chief operating officer at Palletforce, said: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Dobbs Logistics, the undoubted sector leader in its area, and welcome our new colleagues and customers to the Palletforce network.

Dobbs Logistics not only meets our best-in-postcode criteria, giving our members a competitive edge, but also strengthens our overall service proposition in the South East for members and customers.

We made a commitment to our members that we would put them, and their customers, front and centre in our business. In achieving that we’ve focused intently on quality service, adding 12 new members in 12 months, and continuing our investments in technology, infrastructure, and sustainability.

Dobbs Logistics was founded in 1961 and provides customers with a range of services, including pallet distribution, project cargo, warehousing and general haulage. Post-acquisition, Dobbs Logistics’ existing management team and directors Stephen Morgan, Kevin Manser and Lynton Manser will continue to lead the business.

Michael Stace said: “We are delighted to have supported Palletforce with this transaction, which will bolster the business’ reputation for excellence within the sector while augmenting its network. The acquisition continues a trend of consolidation across the UK logistics sector, with companies increasingly targeting acquisitions to grow their offering and secure geographic expansion, despite falling confidence within the industry.

Cattaneo Corporate Finance advised Palletforce on the acquisition, while financial and tax due diligence was provided by Evelyn Partners. Dobbs Logistics received legal advice from Gaby Hardwicke and financial advice from Watson & Co.

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Michael specialises in corporate finance; advising public and private companies, individuals and institutions on domestic and international M&A, private equity investments, restructurings and joint ventures. He also advises on partnership matters..

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Published: 13th January 2023
Area: Corporate & Commercial

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