The deal is worth around £20 million, with YFM contributing £5.5 million from four of its funds, its largest single investment to date.
Rejoining RMS as a result of the deal is Peter Aarosin, managing director of competitor Danbrit Shipping, who left RMS following its initial MBO in 2004. Aarosin becomes chief executive of the buy-out company, while existing managers and shareholders Paul Crossland, David Johnson, Garry O’Malley and Mike Kirby remain with the team.
Aarosin comments: ‘The activities of the RMS Group are firmly rooted on the UK’s busiest trading estuary, the River Humber. It [is] an exciting new opportunity for me to work with a great management team and grow the business both organically and by acquisition.’
Nigel Barraclough led the deal for YFM, which invested from its Chandos Fund, Partnership Investment Finance (PIF), and the two British Smaller Companies VCTs. He says that the increasing cost of road haulage gives inland ports an advantage that RMS Group is well placed to exploit.
Andy Wright, investment manager for PIF, says: ‘The investment of £1.5 million by PIF is the largest single investment we have made, and shows the faith which we have in the strength of the business and the management team.’
RMS Group provides shipping, warehousing and logistics services for both import and export cargoes between Northern Europe, Russia, the Iberian Peninsula and the Mediterranean. Last year the company handled 27,000 containers and 2.1 million tons of cargo.