Imperial Holdings Ltd. agreed to buy U.K. express-delivery service Palletways Group Ltd. for 162.9 million pounds ($236 million) as South Africa’s sixth-largest company by sales, pursues international expansion.
Imperial will use foreign-credit facilities and cash to fund the acquisition, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement on Wednesday. Palletways delivers small consignments of freight — about 8 million pallets a year — across 20 European countries, Imperial said.
Imperial Chief Executive Officer Mark Lamberti said in April he’s seeking international expansion of the company’s logistics operations, which range from pharmaceutical delivery to barging on the Rhine. Imperial’s other main business is its vehicle division, which includes importing, dealerships and rental operations in sub-Saharan Africa.
“The acquisition of Palletways is in line with Imperial’s stated strategic intent to expand its presence beyond South Africa through the acquisition of asset light logistics businesses that benefit from Imperial’s existing footprint and capabilities,” the company said in the statement.
Imperial shares rose 2.8 percent to 143.85 rand, the stock has gained 20 percent this year.