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Knowles Transport acquires Ely based family firm

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Cambridgeshire-based Knowles Transport has acquired a 100 per cent shareholding in fellow 3PL warehousing & distribution provider Masters Logistical.

Based in Ely, Masters offers warehousing and distribution services across Cambridgeshire and East Anglia and is a member of the Palletline freight distribution network.

Paul Upton, managing director of Masters Logistical said: “I am excited to have found a suitable successor for the business.


“Sharing our family values Knowles Transport will continue to grow and develop the business ensuring its future success.

“We would like to thank our loyal staff, customers and suppliers for the support and encouragement they have given us over many years, and we wish them all the greatest of success.”

Alex Knowles, managing director of Knowles Transport said: “Following a 100 per cent growth in sales revenue over the past six years, Knowles Transport has committed further to its expansion goals by welcoming the company, and its people, on board.

“It was an ideal opportunity to expand our operations right on our doorstep.

“It is a match that is not only strategic, but being a 3PL warehouse and distribution specialist like us, we felt that Masters Logistical was an excellent fit to bring on board.

“Furthermore, Masters ethos, company values and customer centric approach are very much synonymous with our own.

“The acquisition acts as a significant milestone in the company’s history as we continue our growth journey.

“With demand remaining buoyant for our services, the increase to our fleet as well as the increased warehousing capacity will allow us to further expand our operations as well as cater to the demands and needs of both existing and new customers – helping to facilitate further growth.

: Knowles Managing Director Alex Knowles pictured with Paul Upton, Managing Director, Masters Logistical

“We are delighted to have successfully completed the acquisition of Masters Logistical – which under the Knowles umbrella will continue to trade under its name, offer its full range of services and retain its status as a long-standing shareholder member of the Palletline network.

“We are proud to be welcoming such an established and well-respected brand into the Knowles family.”

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The acquisition of Masters comes at a period of significant growth for Knowles Transport, a business which has gone from strength to strength in recent years, following a period of substantial and continuous investment into the business as it builds for the future.

Founded in 1932 and now in its third generation of family leadership, Knowles Transport has since established itself as a high performing third-party logistics specialist within the UK contract logistics industry, primarily serving the ambient food, drink, and packaging sectors.

With a fleet of 325 vehicles and trailers, and a total of two million sq. ft of warehousing space across two sites and a headcount of 380, Knowles’ fleet will be bolstered by a further 42 vehicles and trailers, 85,000 sq. ft of warehousing space with expansion capabilities of a further 50 per cent, and 30 members of staff.

Graham Leitch, group managing director of Palletline said the acquisition was a positive step for both organisations. 

He said: “Both Masters Logistical and Knowles share the same customer centric ethos and we are looking forward to continuing to work with Masters Logistical under the Knowles umbrella.”

Knowles said it would like to thank Stuart Light, consultant from sjl advisory specialists providing practical business support and M&A advice, specifically in the transport & logistics sector.

It also thanked Brett Cooper, Lauren McGurk, Emily Carpendale and James Lomax, who provided legal support from transport law specialists Backhouse Jones together with Susannah Adams, Olly Pullin and Ricki Critchell from Harbourside Corporate Finance “for their expert advice and counsel to bring this acquisition to fruition. 

“The service provided was first class and made the entire process seamless.”

Brett Cooper, Head of Corporate, Backhouse Jones said: “We were delighted to act with Alex, Stuart, and the team at Knowles on this transaction and to see them go from strength to strength.

“Both businesses have many synergies which we believe will provide a fruitful basis for future growth.”

Pictured:  Knowles Managing Director Alex Knowles pictured with Paul Upton, Managing Director, Masters Logistical


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