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Creating a £2.2bn FMCG Logistics Business

  • Global
  • United Kingdom


    Eversheds Sutherland advises Culina Group on takeover of GreenWhiteStar Acquisitions

    Eversheds Sutherland has advised Culina Group, the market-leading provider of shared-user fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) logistics services, on its agreement to takeover GreenWhiteStar Acquisitions, effective Thursday 1 July 2021.

    GreenWhiteStar Acquisitions comprises Eddie Stobart, Eddie Stobart Europe, iForce, The Pallet Network, and The Logistics People.

    With an overall turnover of more than £2.2bn, 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.

    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 multijurisdictional Eversheds Sutherland team, led by corporate Partner Robin Johnson and Thomas Howell, Senior Associate, provided advice on all key elements of the acquisition, specifically on the tax, pensions, employment, commercial and finance aspects. The team included Associates Megan Irons (corporate), and Noori Goffar (finance), and Partner Colin Askew (tax), with further support from teams across the firm’s international network including in the Netherlands, Belgium, Bulgaria, Ireland and the Czech Republic. Due diligence support was also provided.

    The acquisition extends the existing Culina Group network to over one hundred strategically located distribution centres in the UK following the addition of the forty 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 terms of the agreement, including consideration, have not been disclosed.

    Robin Johnson, Eversheds Sutherland, said:

    “The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of the FMCG logistics sector for us all as consumers of foods, beverages and other household items. This acquisition will see Culina Group continue to grow its offering in the logistics sector, serving its customers through a large, skilled workforce and top of the line resources. The expert knowledge and sector experience that the firm’s cross-border team was able to apply to ensure the successful delivery of this deal helped to make this possible.”

    Rebecca Smith, Culina, said:

    "This is a significant acquisition for Culina Group, and a major step forward in further strengthening its already impressive position and capability in a highly competitive global logistics market. The technical expertise provided by Robin, Tom and the Eversheds Sutherland team ensured a seamless execution, underpinned by their determination to provide and successfully deliver a consistently high level of service excellence across each jurisdiction.”

    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.

    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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