Platinum buys Hays Logistics business

The US buyout firm has paid just over £100m to acquire the UK-listed support service company’s £850m turnover business.

Platinum Equity, the US buyout firm with offices in the US and France, has agreed to pay £102m to acquire the logistics business of Hays plc, the UK-listed business services group.

Hays Logistics provides logistics services and supply chain solutions, employing more than 16,000 staff based in eleven countries. In its annual results for the year ended June 30, the business generated turnover of £854m and made an operating profit before goodwill amortisation and exceptional items of £32.8m. Net assets stood at £75.7m.

The business was put up for sale in March when Hays announced that it planned to specialise as a recruitment and HR services company. Cinven, CVC Capital Partners and Electra were initially linked with a management buyout of the business. Management have not contributed any equity towards the acquisition, but will continue to run the business following completion. 

Hays said it would retain the logistics unit’s property portfolio in the UK, France and Benelux, along with the German Logistics and US Home Delivery businesses, and intends to dispose of them separately. Hays said that the property portfolio is likely to generate proceeds of £100m.

Platinum Equity has completed 39 privately funded acquisitions since 1995, and is the 34th largest private company in the United States, according to Forbes magazine. Platinum’s operating portfolio currently includes 19 companies with aggregate revenue of more than $4bn, and more than 16,000 employees worldwide.

Last year, Platinum Equity acquired the European distribution operations of Alcatel, the French telecommunications group, for an undisclosed sum. The deal was Platinum’s largest foray into the European market to date, and it is hoped it will bolster the European operations of portfolio business NextiraOne, a network operator offering integrated voice, data and internet services across North America.