Phoenix Equity Partners announces the sale of Palletways

Phoenix Equity Partners (“Phoenix”), a leading UK mid-market private equity firm, is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement for the sale of Palletways Group Ltd (“Palletways” or “the Company”), the market leading pan-European express pallet network, to Imperial Holdings Ltd (“Imperial”), the international logistics group, for a total transaction value of £163 million. The transaction will deliver a 4.3x return on investment for Phoenix and its investors. 

Palletways today operates the only integrated pan-European express pallet network, spanning 20 countries. Under Phoenix’s ownership, the Company has expanded significantly through a series of greenfield investments and international acquisitions, growing from a UK only position to a strong presence across the whole of the Continent. Palletways now delivers 8 million pallets annually across Europe, while profits have more than trebled over the last three years.

Richard Daw, Managing Partner at Phoenix Equity Partners, said: “Palletways has been a fantastic success story commercially and a very strong investment for Phoenix. We have worked in close partnership with James Wilson and Palletways’ management team to expand a UK business into a European market leader. With its greater scale and growth potential, the business has rightly attracted the attention of a strong strategic acquirer in the shape of Imperial. We wish James and his team well under Imperial’s ownership.”

James Wilson, CEO of Palletways, said: “We would like to thank Phoenix for all their support. Their backing has been instrumental in helping us deliver our vision for the business. I am now looking forward, with my team, to continuing Palletways’ development path with our new partners at Imperial.”

This is the fourth significant realisation that Phoenix has announced in the last year, following the sale of CloserStill, which generated a 3.6x return on cost, the IPO of The Gym Group, that achieved a total realised and unrealised return of 2.9x cost and the recent sale of Edif for a 2.3x return on cost. Phoenix and Palletways were advised by Lazard.