Circle Express snapped up by acquisition-hungry Rico

Operations at Circle Express will remain primarily standalone after same-day delivery specialist Rico bought the business last week (18 January).

However, Rico’s head of strategic development Keith Whitehead told it planned to train some of its couriers to Circle’s aviation standards to boost Circle Express’s same-day operation.

“Rico will be marketing the Circle Express capability for hazardous material transport across its user base and establish a new service in its portfolio,” he said.

Circle Express has been trading through a CVA since May 2012. It had an annual turnover of £29m in 2014, and runs more than 300 vehicles across eight airport-based depots.

The company returned to profit in 2013 and reported a 44% increase in pre-tax profit to £194,000 in 2014 (2013: £134,000).

Circle Express MD Tom Ryan said the deal will give the company the financial backing it needs to “move forward and strengthen its position in the industry”.

Rico described the acquisition as strategic, and Whitehead said the company is looking to expand its horizons further. He said: “Rico and its parent organisation TVS are looking at opportunities for acquisition in the UK and globally.

“These will be similar organisations to expand current services and new organisations to bring Rico into new markets.”

Rico, which owns 75% of Circle Express shares, last made an acquisition in 2013 when it bought courier service DHL Express Same Day.

Last year Rico Group’s MD Paul Parrish said the company was expecting to double turnover within five years through an ambitious European expansion strategy.