Investors see big value in basic wooden pallets – UW GROUP

Investors see big value in basic wooden pallets

Private equity funds back acquisitions of pallet firm in Washington and a takeover by pallet firm in Arkansas.

Private equity investors often plow millions into flashy startups and tech firms in the supply chain field, but they have lately seen comparable value in more humble logistics operations, as two wooden pallet firms were involved this week in venture-backed acquisitions.

Investor-backed 48forty Solutions, which has been on long string of buyouts and takeovers in recent months, carved another notch in its belt on Monday with the news that it had completed its first carve-out acquisition, purchasing the pallet recycling division operations of Puyallup, Washington-based Girard Wood Products.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Alpharetta, Georgia-based 48forty will add the unit to its broad stable of division providing recycled pallets and pallet management services.

And on Tuesday, the asset-based pallet management services provider Pallet Logistics of America (PLA) leveraged its deep-pocketed owner Silver Oak Services Partners LLC to acquire Propak, a supply chain services provider.

Ft. Smith, Arkansas-based Propak is a national provider of third party logistics (3PL), reverse logistics, warehousing, transportation, and freight brokerage services, employing 1,700 people at over 60 locations.

Dallas-based PLA said the move transforms it from the largest pallet management services provider in the western U.S. to a national supply chain solutions provider. “We are excited to partner with [Propak founder] Steve Clark and the entire team at Propak and look forward to supporting their continued growth. Propak represents the fifth strategic partnership within the PLA platform and significantly expands our footprint and service capability,” Wade Glisson, partner at Silver Oak, said in a release.


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