Wincanton has signed a conditional agreement to dispose of the operations of its container business to Maritime Transport.
The operations will be sold for approximately £1.5 million.
Wincanton said that the transaction would reduce the group’s annual turnover by approximately £60 million and would also lead to a small increase in underlying profit before tax.
James Wroath, Chief Executive at Wincanton, said: “This transaction is an important step in our strategy to focus our efforts and resources on the exciting growth opportunities we see in our core markets.”
In a statement to investors Wincanton said the disposal of its containers division was aligned with its strategy of focusing core markets that offer the greatest potential for growth.
It said that the containers division, which sits within specialist services in the group’s new reporting structure (which Wincanton hinted at on Friday), was subject to a high-level of volatility in the daily demand for its services .
As a result it said that the short-term nature of its contracts differed from Wincanton’s core business model, where visibility of earnings is prioritised. The company said that its containers business was likely to require investment within the next two years and Wincanton was committed to directing investment towards higher value areas of the group.
Maritime said it would continue to work with Wincanton as a strategic partner, supporting a number of Wincanton’s customers’ international supply chains, and that the combined business would create a road fleet of 2,000 with 3,000 employees, based throughout the UK.
“We are delighted to have agreed terms with Wincanton to acquire its container transport business, Wincanton Container Logistics. We welcome the staff and drivers and look forward to building our capability in the container transport sector and relationships with its customers,” said Maritime Group Chairman John Williams.