Thursday, August 15, 2013

Forwarding and Logistics Group Bought by Former Owner of RH Freight

Europa Worldwide Acquired for Undisclosed Sum
Shipping News Feature

UK – Europa Worldwide, the freight forwarding and logistics company, has been acquired by Andrew Baxter, the former owner of RH Freight. Although Europa was headquartered in Erith whilst RH was further north in Nottingham, for many years the two companies were competitors, with similar histories, having both been established as European groupage operators which grew steadily in the 1970’s and 80’s. RH was sold to Kuehne and Nagel in March 2011 and, effective from the 1st January this year, became just a satellite office of the Swiss group.

Europa emerged from the original SCA Freight operation which older readers may remember, whilst RH grew to be the largest family run operation in its home city, using multimodal methods to serve numerous destinations. Like RH, Europa was a privately owned operation and was bought out by management in 2007. Now Andrew Baxter has taken a 90% stake in the company with the remaining 10% going to Russell Keep, one of the three partners who orchestrated the Europa buyout.

None of Europa’s five hundred or so staff spread over nine depots are said to be at risk whilst the company will continue to trade under the Europa Worldwide brand. The new owner obviously couldn’t stay away from the business and it seems he has plans to develop Europa, saying:

“I have spent some time looking for the right opportunity and am very excited about the potential here at Europa. The company has an excellent reputation and a good track record and I want to build the business to become the clearly recognised, number one groupage operator in the UK. I also believe the company has great potential outside of its European operations, in air, ocean and logistics, and we will be looking at what we can do to further develop these businesses.

It will be business as usual for the next few months whilst we take time to evaluate the current set up. We already have plans to invest £1.5 million in new IT infrastructure to help improve efficiencies and communication. There is a strong branch network which could be boosted further with other new sites to give a denser coverage of the UK.”