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Bulk Logistics Group

Bulk Logistics Group has secured a £9.4m full asset-based lending facility from Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance to support a management buy-in at the family-run business. The funding line was used to enable the existing management team, the Ward family, to sell shares to the Castle/Edghill family.

The Bedale-based business operates in the dry bulk logistics market, with 100 specialist vehicles moving agricultural products such as grains and fertilisers, alongside salt, coal, aggregate and waste across the UK. The company currently employs 150 staff across its sites in Middlesbrough, Leeds, Carlisle and Newcastle.

With a turnover of £30m in the year to 2017, Bulk Logistics Group has a strong client base, including a high proportion of blue chip customers such as Cleveland Potash Ltd and SITA, part of French multi-national corporation SUEZ Group.

Most recently, Bulk Logistics made a pair of senior appointments to the board of directors, with Paul Tolmie in the role of general manager and David Edghill as group financial director. The appointments have been made to help deliver future growth plans, with the business targeting annual growth of more than 20 per cent.

As well as this organic growth, the business has demonstrated its intent to adopt a buy-and-build strategy. In the last month, Bulk Logistics Group has acquired two compatible North Yorkshire-based businesses: WG & H Horsley, a bulk carrier based in York, and Hare Bulk Haulage Ltd, based in Northallerton. Further additions are in course of negotiation and are planned to be concluded in the next 12 months.

Michael Ward, director at Bulk Logistics Group Ltd, said: "The group operations are extremely well organised and the sector we operate within has enormous potential for a business such as the Bulk Logistics Group to grow on the back of not just providing the cheapest rates, but the best delivery performance. This opportunity required us to find a financial partner capable of not only funding the initial stages of the growth plans, but also providing support and ongoing influence throughout the company's extended expansion cycle.

"Through taking the time to familiarise themselves with the business and the sector, the team at Secure Trust Bank was able to provide a tailored funding facility, capable of flexing to suit the continuously changing needs of the business. With this, and the hard work of the existing management team, I am confident that we can achieve all our ambitious growth objectives and possibly more."

Sean Powell, National Sales Director at Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance, said: "Bulk Logistics has a clear strategy in place, with acquisitions supplementing the already impressive levels of organic growth being generated. We are looking forward to supporting the business as it rolls out its plans in other areas.

"There is now in place an experienced management team not only capable of assessing and delivering acquisitions but also able to deal with whatever additional operational demands arise through organic and acquisitional growth. With funding to take the business to the next stage of its development, we feel that the business is well placed to take advantage of whatever opportunities might arise in its sector."

Needle Partners provided legal advice to Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance on the deal. Hentons provided corporate finance advice to Bulk Logistics, with Turner Parkinson providing legal advice.