DX buys parcel logistics and home delivery firm Nightfreight

British secure mail delivery and courier company DX Group has acquired overnight parcel and freight logistics firm Nightfreight. Buckinghamshire-based DX Group, which is owned by equity group Arle Capital Partners, claimed yesterday that the purchase of Nightfreight from Penglais Investments Ltd will create the “UK and Ireland’s largest independent mail, courier and network distribution service”.

In particular, it hands DX Group a niche in irregular dimension and weight services for business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets, it said.

Nightfreight, which has its headquarters at Willenhall, near Wolverhampton in the West Midlands area of England, has an annual turnover of around GBP 123m, and remained profitable through the recent economic downturn.

Its four main services include large parcel express and non-standard freight delivery, two-man shared user home delivery, a handling and installation service for home delivered items, and specialist warehousing services.

Some of Nightfreight’s major clients include the retailers B&Q, House of Fraser, John Lewis, Wickes and Wilkinson.

DX Group, meanwhile, currently handles over 1m letters, packets and parcels each day in the UK and Ireland, including time-sensitive and high value items like financial documents, jewellery, credit cards and passports.

Combined, the two businesses are expected to have a GBP 300m annual revenue.

Separate but co-ordinated

DX said it would continue to run Nightfreight as a separate business, though with a co-ordinated sales and marketing approach to provide customers with their combined range of services, and a unified IT network to help the group to grow its customer base.

DX chief executive Petar Cvetkovic and chief financial officer Ian Pain have been appointed to the Nightfreight board. Nightfreight’s chief executive Ian Smith will become part of the DX Group management team as the group’s strategy director, heading up efforts to integrate the two companies. Peter Louden, the Nightfreight managing director, continues on at the Nightfreight board as operations director.

Other moves at the company have included the former City Link managing director Stuart Godman joining as chief operating officer of Nightfreight as of this month.

“Opportunity”

Cvetkovic said yesterday that the acquisition was an “outstanding opportunity” for customers and employees at both organisations.

“The combination creates a clear market leader with scale and a more diversified customer offer,” he said.

“We are now capable of delivering everything from a letter to a complete bedroom suite with king-size bed – including the assembly and installation – through our two-man ‘white glove’ premium delivery service.”

Cvetkovic said the enlarged business would be “much better positioned” to build on growth from new and existing customers, and said the DX Group was now in the process of launching various initiatives to improve services.

“Our first priority is to work with customers and colleagues to reassure them of the fantastic opportunity this deal provides for them,” said the DX Group CEO.

“It will ensure investment in Nightfreight’s infrastructure, network and IT capability, thereby improving service levels for its impressive customer base. Our plan is to provide up to GBP 20m of capital investment for Nightfreight over the next few years.”

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