Costa eyes expansion, including Mannway?

<font color=red><b>MANNWAY SALE:</b></font> Is Costa Logistics pursuing the failed Melbourne-based carrier? New CEO chases acquisitions

Costa eyes expansion, including Mannway?
Costa eyes expansion, including Mannway?
By Samantha Freestone and Michael House | December 3, 2009

Is Costa Logistics the new owner of Mannway? That’s the buzz in some industry circles, despite both parties refusing to talk about a sale.

Costa, the Victorian-based produce specialist which has flagged an aggressive expansion under new management, may be close to a deal according to rumours on one internet forum.

Tim Bolam (pictured), Costa’s head-hunted CEO from Europe, would only tell SupplyChain Review he "could not possible comment on that".

But in an interview last month, Bolam spoke at length about growing the Costa brand into new markets.

"The strategy is quite clear. The business as it is will expand. We will certainly see profitability double, possibly triple, through acquisitions and business development," he told SupplyChain Review.

Bolam also talked of expanding the customer base and moving into "different market sectors".

Receivers of the bankrupt Mannway group say they are close to securing a new owner and could make an announcement next week.

Brendan Richards from the Ferrier Hodgson firm tells SupplyChain Review there is "nothing under contract" at this stage when questioned about Costa’s possible interest.

"Negotiations continue with a number of different companies and we are not in a position to disclose who these are," he says.

"We will most likely be in a position to make a definitive statement next week."

SupplyChain Review had reported K&S Freighters and Linfox were interested in the Melbourne operator, possibly as a joint-venture, though it’s understood that bid didn’t proceed. Both companies may still be in negotiations separately.

Mannway runs some 600 vehicles and manages 10 warehousing sites in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland with more than 100,000 square metres of customer storage.

More than 300 staff await their fate on the sale.

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