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EmergeVest acquires NFT from Phoenix Equity Partners

NFT Distribution Operations Limited has completed a deal with new private equity investor EmergeVest, valuing the company at over GBP60 million.

The transaction includes integrated debt funding of up to GBP42 million provided by Investec Growth & Acquisition Finance.
 
EmergeVest has acquired the entire shareholding of NFT’s original private equity backer, Phoenix Equity Partners, and alongside Investec is injecting additional capital to further grow the business in the UK and overseas. The current management team at NFT will remain with the business and maintain a significant shareholding in the company.
 
NFT is a supply-chain link between chilled food and drink manufacturers and the retailers.
 
Since the MBO from Northern Foods in 2006, the business has seen sales increase 49 per cent, from GBP114 million to GBP170 million in the latest year to March 2014. The company runs seven strategically located sites at which it employs 2,000 full-time staff.
 
David Frankish, CEO of NFT, says: “We have been diligent in our search for a new investment partner and are really pleased to be working with EmergeVest who have exhibited a great understanding of our market and a passion to help NFT fulfil its potential. They are keen to back management’s plans for growth based on innovation and continuous improvement to our service offering delivered by a highly skilled workforce and leading edge systems. With the additional financial backing of Investec, I am confident this deal is great news for our customers, employees and the wider logistics environment.” 
 
Heath Zarin, managing director of EmergeVest, says: “We are delighted to establish this relationship with NFT, the UK market leader in chilled food logistics services. We believe the company is well positioned to expand its service offering within the UK and to enter new overseas markets. We have been very impressed by management’s ability to execute and their plans for developing the business further. We are also pleased that Investec participated in the transaction and will provide ongoing support to NFT through an innovative and flexible financing package. Overall, we are very excited about NFT’s growth prospects and ability to provide an ever-expanding suite of leading edge services.”
 
Richard Daw, partner at Phoenix Equity Partners, says: “By investing substantial growth capital and by working hard alongside NFT’s excellent management team, we have together succeeded in establishing NFT in its market-leading position. We wish David Frankish and the management team every success in the next phase of the company’s development under their new ownership.”

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