Region in Focus: Transport companies in Murcia become a magnet for investment funds
The region of Murcia is home to some of the largest refrigerated fleets in Europe such as Primafrio, ESP Solutions and El Mosca. Their vehicles are a common sight on the European motorways often delivering the quality fruit and vegetables grown throughout the region and beyond. In these times of economic unrest, many of these companies have been working hard to strengthen their own fleets to mitigate the negative effects of rising costs and ensure their continuity and growth. This hard work has not gone unnoticed and a significant number of these fleets have become targets for large investment funds looking to purchase a stake in the future of the Spanish logistics market.
In this week’s Overdrive article, we look into a number of case studies that highlight why a number of recent acquisitions, including a number of Vrio’s direct customers, highlight the importance of the transport sector in Murcia and why companies are looking to external investment to help guarantee their future position.
Does the injection of capital guarantee the maintenance and growth of the sector in Murcia?
It looks like it will! The majority of the companies in Murcia who have recently attracted external investment have something in common; the companies will continue to operate in the same way from their base in Murcia under the same management and with no significant relocation of resources or talent. External investment funds understand the strategic importance of the Spanish market, especially in the food and retail distribution and are keen to let the companies carry on as normal with a clear-eyed focus on growth and stability.
- The shareholders of Transportes Agustín Fuentes e Hijos S.L. also known as Grupo Fuentes recently decided to sell the business to the American holding company Lineage Logistics, a worldwide leader in the temperature-controlled industrial sector and provider of logistics solutions.
With a fleet of more than 500 trucks and with its headquarters in Las Torres de Cotillas (Murcia), Grupo Fuentes is a major player in the food and retail distribution sector. The family run business will continue to lead the Lineage business in Spain with the goal of becoming an emblematic benchmark for road transport internationally.
- Just one day after the purchase of Transportes Agustín Fuentes e Hijos S.L. was announced, ESP Solutions, formerly known as La Espada, announced the sale of a majority stake in its shareholding to the investment funds Avior and Blantyre Capital.
Pioneer and leader in the transport and logistics sector of medicines, electronics, plants and flowers and with more than 1,000 vehicles in its fleet, ESP Solutions will look to reinforce and increase its temperature-controlled logistics services by expanding its facilities in southeast Spain thanks to this investment project.
- El Mosca was the first company in Murcia to announce the sale of a major stake in its shareholding. Specialized in the transport of dry and temperature-controlled goods, it has been chosen by the company Logista, an important logistics operator in southern Europe, as a key component of its drive for diversification and growth.
The commercial deal will oversee the immediate sale of 60% of the business with the remaining 40% of the iconic Murcian operator to be completed over the next three years. Based in Molina de Segura, it has a fleet of more than 1,000 vehicles, with more than 1,100 workers and 12 national and international delegations, being present in the main strategic points of both the major Spanish and European transport routes.
- And finally, the sale of Primafrio to Apollo Infrastructure, a US company, will accelerate the growth of the business, with a strong investment in its infrastructure network and further international expansion. The acquisition of 49% of the Murcian company will continue to see its founders and current shareholders, Juan Conesa and José Esteban Conesa, continue in their currect roles by maintain a majority stake in the business.
With more than 2,300 vehicles operating in 25 countries across Europe, the company was founded in 2007 and has become one of the leading companies in the European market, mainly specializing in temperature-controlled logistics services.
The cause for optimism in the Spanish transport market
The recent flurry of activity in the Murcian transport sector is symbolic of the overall health of the industry in Spain. The importance of Spanish transport will be safeguarded by these recent acquisitions by ensuring their market share and improving the quality of the solutions these companies can offer. It is a cause for real optimism that external investment funds are looking to markets such as Spain whose businesses continue to dominate the western European market.
We at Vrio would like to congratulate the Murcian companies that have successfully navigated the choppy waters of the last few years and that have ultimately helped secure the future of an industry so important to regions like Murcia.