Euro Pool System Acquires LPR (La Palette Rouge)

A leading European reusable container pooling company has joined forces with a well known European pallet rental company. Euro Pool System reports having acquired 100% of the shares of LPR (La Palette Rouge). As such the new pallet and reusable container group positions itself as a leading service provider in return logistics and returnable assets solutions, recognised by its customer-driven and lean attitude, while aiming for continued growth in its core markets and beyond.

By combining the expertise and experience of both companies, the group anticipates new growth opportunities. “Our approach to the markets in which we operate will not change,” the announcement stated. “Both companies will continue to provide top-of-class services and high quality solutions. By combining our knowledge of the fresh supply chain, of the fast moving consumer goods and the European retail market, we provide our customers with a distinctive and sustainable added value. As such we can grow together, each in our own markets, either with trays or pallets, whilst at the same time taking advantage of the unique combination of both, levering each other.”

Euro Pool System is Europe’s leading logistics service provider of returnable packaging solutions for fresh produce, holding a 41% share of the returnable packaging for the fruit & vegetable market in continental Europe. In cooperation with European retailers, Euro Pool System focuses on providing optimal, cost-effective and sustainable logistics solutions. The company employs 155 people in ten countries and operates in fifteen countries, in which they manage more than 620 million round trips of returnable trays per year. The company has a network of 45 service centres across Europe. In 2009, Euro Pool System had a turnover of 203 million euros.

LPR operates a pool of more than ten million pallets with more than 40 million pallet movements annually, and with an annual turnover exceeding 100 million euros. It has 20,000 drop-off points in Europe, 72 depots and 200 employees working in seven subsidiaries: France, Spain, Portugal, Benelux, United Kingdom, Germany and Italy.

LPR’s principal shareholder since 2006 has been AtriA Capital Partenaires, a private equity fund. While LPR has been able to grow and to strengthen its market position significantly over recent years it said it was important for the company to attract a new shareholder who could reinforce LPR’s growth ambitions in the European pallet pooling market.

Also highlighted in the announcement:
• Euro Pool System International B.V. is Europe’s largest logistics service provider of returnable trays for fresh produce and as such embarked on a dedicated growth strategy;
• Euro Pool System’s core business is the management of assets through complex distribution networks, more specifically the European Food Retail industry;
• Both LPR and Euro Pool System are recognised by their customers as lean organisations, innovative, and with excellent execution capabilities, building on years of expertise and experience, with a European reach.
• There is a perfect match of the geographic footprints of both companies with mutual opportunities to strengthen positions and accelerate growth.

The release suggested that LPR and Euro Pool brands will both be maintained, saying that LPR will continue to serve and to develop its entire range of existing markets and customer relationships. LPR and Euro Pool System, however will complement their product offering with a high-quality, generally accepted and integrated trays & pallets solution. “The transaction strengthens our PAN European presence and network,” the announcement concluded. “It provides growth opportunities and the possibility to provide extended excellent service.”

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