October 10 - Manchester, UK-based freight logistics provider, Cardinal Maritime Group, has completed a deal with founder Brian Hay that has delivered control of the business to the management team.

Hay, who will continue in his role as chief executive and maintain a shareholding of 49 percent, explained that he was "delighted to have achieved his long term aim of transferring ownership of the business away from its founders to management via an employee trust".

Operations director Charlie McGonagle said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for the management team to progress the business forward through the next stage of its fairy-tale journey. Despite growth to date we have plans in place to see significant development of the business over the coming years whilst continuing to revolutionise the supply chain sector."

The deal, which values the business at GBP15 million, was constructed with the assistance of Grant Thornton and DWF. The deal was funded with a combination of shareholder funds and funding from Barclays.

Philippa Brown of Barclays commented "Cardinal Maritime is a longstanding client of Barclays and we were delighted to support them in this deal. I continue to be impressed by the consistent results produced by the company despite a challenging economic climate. With a strong and dynamic management team in place to take the business forward I am looking forward to working with Cardinal on new ventures for many years to come."

Cardinal Maritime posted sales of GBP33.5 million in 2011, up year-on-year from GBP32.8 million, while pre-tax profit rose sharply from GBP612,293 to GBP1.44 million.

The business was founded in 1998 and the company expects that sales will hit the GBP100 million barrier in 2015, which would represent remarkable growth from the most recent figures.

Hay reported that a number of initiatives in place would support continued and strong growth and that it was likely that the management team would look to private equity to support its ambitions.

One of the most exciting projects underway is it ambitious efforts to re-engineer traditional and inefficient supply chain principles. Hay explained that it was the business' intention to continue to challenge conventional business thinking and to unlock more efficient routes to market for Chinese, American and Indian manufacturers. Using a combination of new technology and radical supply chain thinking, the business would help support businesses looking to embrace the on-line revelation and move away from the high-street.

Cardinal Maritime has offices in Dublin, South Africa and its UK brands include Cardinal Plus, Origin Logistics and DFE.