144 jobs saved following sale of struggling logistics firm

The business and assets of an Exeter-based  logistics company have been bought out of administration, with the deal securing 144 jobs.

Formed in 2002, STR Logistics offers a range of services across the South West, including home deliveries, pallet distribution, secure freight handling, contract management, and short-to-medium term storage.

Following a buy-out, the company’s turnover was on an upward trajectory increasing from £2.9m in the year to June 2020, to £3.7m in 2021 and £6.7m in 2022.

However, a combination of rising costs, including fuel and wages, a shortage of available spare parts, increased lead time for vehicles and the general downturn of the economy led to numerous trading difficulties and the accumulation of creditor arrears.

Professional guidance was sought in December 2022 and after options were considered for the business, a marketing campaign was launched to source a buyer as part of a restructure.

Expressions of interest were attended to by insolvency practitioner SFP and valuation agency Middleton Barton Asset Valuation.

An agreement was ultimately reached with Devon & Cornwall Logistics Limited (DCL) and a sale completed.

David Kemp, joint administrator at SFP, says that in the face of very difficult circumstances, the sale achieved a constructive outcome.

He said: “The impact of record inflation and other economic constraints placed enormous pressure on STR logistics, which sustained irretrievable damage as a result.

“The sale to Devon and Cornwall Logistics Limited was the best solution to achieving the preferred outcome: the retention of STR Logistics employees, maximised value for stakeholders and ongoing services to the business’ valuable clients.”

Anthony Quinn, CEO of DCL, said that DCL will continue to trade under the banner of STR.

He said: “Our new management team, improved corporate strategy and good old-fashioned excellent service will ensure this business can go from strength to strength.”

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