Chicago-based third-party logistics (3PL) services provider and global freight forwarder SEKO Logistics said this week that Charlotte-based Ridgemont Equity Partners, a middle market buyout and growth equity investor, is the company’s newest investor partner.
The company did not disclose the amount of the investment
The development comes at a time when SEKO is moving forward on its next stage of expansion, focusing on additional acquisitions, technology platform investments, and continued growth in key global regions. With Ridgemont Equity Partners on board, SEKO said that New York-based private equity firm Greenbriar Equity Group LP, a SEKO shareholder going back to 2015, will remain as a minority investor in the company.
“[This] announcement marks the next stage of SEKO’s growth ambition,” said James Gagne, President and CEO of SEKO, in a statement. “We are always focused on our clients, first and foremost, and how we can best serve their supply chain and demand chain needs. Ridgemont has extensive and highly relevant experience growing third-party logistics providers by investing in technology, hiring talented people, and acquiring strategic businesses. These initiatives have been at the core of SEKO’s growth in recent years and, with Ridgemont’s support, we will accelerate SEKO’s capabilities and ultimately benefit our customers at the local and international levels. We have attracted outstanding partners in Ridgemont and Greenbriar and the future has never looked brighter for SEKO, our people and, most importantly, our customers.”
Established in 1976, SEKO’s primary service offerings focus on e-commerce logistics and shipping solutions, white glove delivery, healthcare logistics, and value-added freight forwarding services. SEKO Logistics has more than 120 offices in 40 countries.
SEKO Logistics Chief Growth Officer Brian Bourke told LM in an interview that the company will leverage part of its new partnership with Ridgemont Equity Partners in the form of investments into various locales, primarily in Europe, Southeast Asia, and North America.
On the technology front, which Bourke said has long been a key differentiator for the company going back to the 1980s when it rolled out its first order management solution, he explained that SEKO will continue to invest and focus on freight forwarding and logistics technology services.
“We will look at how consumers and our clients engage with us,” he said. “It is really going to be a commitment and investment into our entire technology infrastructure, and that requires future proofing and the ability to scale up our technology solutions, which are great today. But we are looking towards the future and what the clients of tomorrow are going to be expecting. The definitions of transparency and visibility are changing, when it comes to things like clean data and data integration that have become more paramount. There are also things like cybersecurity that we will also be looking at, too. It is going to be a big effort…but in our world of freight forwarding and logistics it is evolving very fast. For us, these investments are focused on continued digitization of our technology suite.”
When asked about making future acquisitions, Bourke said that SEKO’s strategy is not changing, with the company continuing to focus on e-commerce, white glove, and value-added freight forwarding solutions.
“When we look at the acquisitions that we have done and the ones we will do in the future, they will all be done in order to bolster or add on to our capabilities in those areas,” he said. “We will not be acquiring companies to enter new verticals, that will not be the strategy. There will be more of a focus on tuck-in acquisitions. This is where getting into new geographies becomes more interesting than adding brand new services to new industries we don’t currently serve.”
About the Author
Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman