Northampton-based Panther Logistics has been acquired by US-based AIT Worldwide Logistics, a global transportation management leader.
The acquisition follows a year in which Panther has seen an exponential increase in online shopping leading to an expanded team as well as several new partnerships with customers wishing to take advantage of the company’s offering.
Panther specialises in the retail and ecommerce sectors, and its customers include Wayfair, Silentnight, Dunelm, Maze, Decathlon and Habitat.
AIT Worldwide Logistics already has a significant presence in the US in the white glove home delivery and e-fulfilment sectors with the two businesses sharing a number of synergies.
The acquisition will see AIT supporting Panther’s continued growth, further reinforcing its position in specialist two-man delivery, while extending AIT’s presence in the UK market.
For Panther it will be business as usual with the existing management team remaining in place.
At the helm Commercial Director Gary McKelvey will take the reins as Managing Director. He will be supported in his new role by Colin McCarthy to ensure a seamless transition.
Colin McCarthy said: “Becoming part of AIT’s expansive global network provides a springboard for further growth and investment. It is a hugely exciting development in Panther’s journey and one which will mark a new era for the business for the benefit both our customers and employees alike.
“With the growth in online shopping continuing to escalate at unprecedented levels, the quality of delivery has become a key differentiator for many retailers and a major driver for consumers. Customer experience is therefore vital. Everything we do is designed with the end customer in mind and we aim to make delivery as easy and convenient as possible.
“Our commitment to service excellence has always been paramount and will continue to form the bedrock of our operation as we enter this latest chapter in the Panther success story.”
“I am thrilled to add Panther’s renowned two-man delivery professionals to our growing organization and wish them all a warm welcome to the team,” said AIT President and CEO, Vaughn Moore.
“I’m looking forward to the results of blending subject matter experts between our two companies and building off each other’s best practices, particularly in the booming e-Commerce space.”
Having now announced its successful exit, LDC’s Midlands team originally invested in Panther Logistics in 2016 as part of a £17million management buyout, backing Chief Executive Colin McCarthy and his leadership team.
The mid-market private equity firm’s investment enabled the business to expand rapidly over the next four years with new services, locations and customers, whilst investing significantly in its technology platform, workforce and operations.
LDC also helped strengthen the firm’s board and management team with the appointments of retail veteran Greg Ball as a non-executive chairman as well as Tony Nicholas as CFO and Gary McKelvey as COO. During this time, the business created over 300 new jobs, doubled sales to more than £60million and tripled profits.