GJC Enacts Growth Drive for Preston Logistics Group

GJC Advisory has advised Preston Logistics Group Limited (PLG) on the acquisition of SEA Transport Limited (SEA), for an undisclosed sum, in a deal which places the company as the UK’s leading independent provider of sea port services.

The transaction sees Richard Preston become CEO following a management buy-in which has been backed by investment fund Enact who will continue to support the MBI team along with GJC.

Felixstowe-based SEA, which was established as a family-owned port centric business in 2000, offer full container load haulage, warehousing and general storage and pallets. Over the past couple of decades it has become a widely recognised brand in the industry with a reputation for delivering high levels of service excellence and strong commitment to its customers.

Formed 2021 and headquartered in Teesside, PLG has an extensive service offering and will be investing in digital capability supporting customers in maximising regulatory compliance, achieving operational efficiencies, offering storage options; turnkey container load solutions and ongoing development for a constantly shifting macro landscape.

GJC advised on growth strategy which led to identification and targeting of SEA for the acquisition. The GJC team was led by MD Karyn Pritchard and CEO Gavin Jones. It was supported by David Sullivan who acted as lead advisor on the deal.

Gavin commented: “We’re delighted to have completed this transaction with Enact within a very quick time frame from start to finish. This deal demonstrates once again how we can work effectively with our private equity partners to create strategic opportunities. We look forward to continuing our work with PLG and I hope this is one of many acquisitions to come as we continue to support Enact in growing their portfolio across the UK.”

Existing management, Chris and Frazer Smith of SEA, commented: “This is a hugely exciting time for SEA Transport, our people and our customers. It will enable the business to continue to flourish in Felixstowe and now start to develop a UK network.”

Incoming CEO Richard Preston, commented: “This is a great opportunity for the business to continue its growth trajectory and reach its true potential backed by GJC and Enact, leaning on the wealth of experience already within SEA, but also adding to that with the team that have been brought together.”

Felix Connolly, Investment Director of Enact commented “We are delighted to acquire SEA and provide the investment needed to support the expansion of the business to additional ports around the UK to create a national platform providing specialist port services and maritime haulage. The SEA brand is recognised and trusted by its customers and has an excellent reputation in the market in which it operates.  We are looking forward to supporting the founding family members and MBI team to deliver further growth and development of the SEA brand.”

Other advisers include Womble Bond Dickinson and the Tax Advisory Partnership for Enact; Ward Hadaway for the MBI team; and Gotelee for SEA.