South African logistical firm Imperial Holdings has acquired Staffordshire-based logistics group Palletways for a sum of £162.9m.

Palletways, which operates in the UK and in 20 European countries across its freight network, was formerly owned by private equity firm Phoenix, but has now sold the business as it continues to grow.

The acquisition of the Palletways Group coincides with Imperial’s strategic expansion plans as it looks to enhance its presence beyond South Africa.

Palletways has built a strong reputation within the logistics sector since its launch back in 1994 and reported revenues of around £135.5m for the financial year ended 31 May 2016.

Richard Daw, managing partner at Phoenix, commented: “We have worked in close partnership with James Wilson and Palletways’ management team to expand a UK business into a European market leader. We wish James and his team well under Imperial’s ownership.”

James Wilson, Palletways CEO, said: “We are delighted to be working with Imperial as we move to the next stage of Palletways’ development by continuing to expand into new markets, while enhancing our member and customer experience. This is an exciting opportunity for Palletways, and all its members, to build on our success.”

Mark Lamberti, Imperial CEO, added: “Palletways’ business model and geographic reach will be complementary to our existing services and networks. We look forward to working with them to enhance Palletway’s presence and service in the UK and Europe.”