We are delighted to announce that Ligentia has been ranked in the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200. The Track 200 league table has been running for over a decade and ranks Britain’s mid-market private companies with the fastest-growing international sales, measured over the latest two years of available accounts.

What’s more, Ligentia was one of only six supply chain management and logistics companies to make it into the top 200.

In 2019, our international sales hit £55.6 million, resulting in an average international sales growth of 31.69% pa. Last year, 2020, we also recorded revenues of c. £300 million, further demonstrating our strong year-on-year growth, which we expect to continue.

Recent investment from Equistone Partners Europe Limited (“Equistone”) will support us in continuing to deliver our ambitious growth plans and will enable the enhanced development of Ligentix, our proprietary customer technology platform.

Speaking regarding the investment and Ligentix, Ligentia CEO Nick Jones said:

“Our significant investment in our technology platform means we have been able to not only maintain our service to customers but deliver some substantial change in the way we work. That investment has positioned Ligentia at the forefront of change in our sector. Our new partnership with Equistone will allow increased investment in our business at a time where there is a considerable awareness of global supply chains and the risks that organisations face without the right visibility systems and partners.”

As supply chains across the world navigate the disruption caused by both COVID and the current new Brexit regulations, Chinese New Year is the third area that needs further consideration.

More and more shippers have announced they will be manufacturing through the holiday as the Chinese government discourages workers from travelling home due to the surging Covid cases in many parts of China. This could create backlogs during CNY as large numbers of freighter flights have been cancelled weeks ago. Post CNY, the market is expected to be robust as a result of inventory replenishment and an ocean market that will continue to be heavily congested. The impact on yields is still unclear, but we anticipate rates staying at a higher level as we close out Q1.

Our Ligentia teams are assisting customers by operating charter flights to avoid any disruption in service over this period.

How will Chinese New Year be different in 2021?

With social distancing guidelines and travel restrictions in place, and with many public events already having been cancelled, there is little doubt that 2021’s Chinese New Year will feel very different. Nevertheless, people are still very much looking forward to the celebrations, with meeting up with friends and cooking their own Chinese New Year feasts high on the agenda.

“Things are very different, but we are still looking forward to celebrating Chinese New Year,” says Sally Hu, Ligentia’s HR Business Partner in China. “The whole family normally gather together to celebrate, and many people will be unable to return to their hometowns to do this, which is naturally disappointing. But we are finding new ways to celebrate, such as gathering with friends locally!”

A traditional Chinese New Year

Traditions for celebrating Chinese New Year vary widely between different regions and countries. Nevertheless, under normal circumstances you might expect:

  • Reunion Dinners: Chinese New Year is a time for family and friends. Many people travel long distances to be together, particularly for their New Year’s Eve feast. Dishes with lucky meanings are included, such as fish, dumplings and spring rolls
  • Deocrations: In the run-up to Chinese New Year, but traditionally on New Year’s Eve, people decorate their houses using red lanterns, paper cutouts and New Year’s paintings, which are all thought to keep evil away. As this year is the Year of the Ox, you can expect to see decorations that reflect this.
  • Red Envelopes: After the Reunion Dinner, parents give children red envelopes, wishing them health, growth and good studies. Money in these envelopes is believed to bring good luck
  • Firecrackers & Fireworks: As soon as New Year arrives, firecrackers and fireworks are set off across China. It’s believed that the louder the firecrackers, the luckier it is for business and farming in the year to come
  • Lion & Dragon Dances: Public parades and performances are commonplace, featuring colourful lions and dragons. Lion and dragon dances can usually be seen on New Year’s Day and, while regaining popularity in China, they are very popular in Hong Kong and Macau

2021: Year of the Ox

In Chinese tradition, each year is characterised by one of the 12 animals that feature in the Chinese zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Each animal has a year dedicated to them once ever 12 years, in a cycle.

Leaving the Year of the Rat behind, 2021 is the Year of the Ox, which symbolizes strength and determination.

Ligentia Secures Equistone Investment

Ligentia, a global supply chain management provider, has today confirmed that Equistone Partners Europe Limited (“Equistone”), the European mid-market private equity investor, has made a significant investment in the business. The financial terms of the investment are undisclosed.

Founded in 1996 by group CEO Nick Jones, Ligentia has a team of 400+ professionals across 25 locations worldwide. The firm manages the international freight and supply chains for some of the world’s leading retailers, consumer brands and healthcare providers. Ligentia recorded revenues of c. £300m in 2020, representing strong year-on-year growth which is expected to continue.

The investment from Equistone, with its pan-European network of offices, will support Ligentia in delivering its ambitious growth plans through strategic acquisitions. It will also support the enhanced development of Ligentix; Ligentia’s proprietary customer technology platform.

Ligentia will continue to be led by its founder and CEO Nick Jones, who alongside the existing management will also invest in the business.

Nick Jones, Founder and CEO of Ligentia, said:

“Ligentia has always had an exceptional ability to adapt according to customer and market requirements and we work hard to ensure that customers drive our strategy and ways of working. Over the past 12 months we have adapted again, as our customers and colleagues around the world have endured some of the most challenging times. Our significant investment in our technology platform means we have been able to not only maintain our service to customers but deliver some substantial change in the way we work. That investment has positioned Ligentia at the forefront of change in our sector.

Our new partnership with Equistone will allow increased investment in our business at a time where there is a considerable awareness of global supply chains and the risks that organisations face without the right visibility systems and partners.

Equistone has an exceptional track record of supporting fast-growth global companies like ours, as well as a deep understanding of the market. We are really excited about this next part of our journey with a valuable partner on board.”

Sebastien Leusch, Investment Director at Equistone Partners Europe, said:

“Ligentia has 25 years of experience in global supply chain management with some of the world’s most admired brands. Thanks to its strong management team, the business is known

for its particularly high customer service levels, underpinned by a stand-out technology platform. This unique combination, at a time where the importance of seamless global supply chain management is particularly heightened, makes this investment a particularly exciting one. We are therefore delighted to have this opportunity to invest and we look forward to working alongside Nick and the wider team on Ligentia’s next phase of growth and product development.”

Sebastien Leusch and Chris Candfield led the investment on behalf of Equistone. Equistone was advised by DC Advisory, Addleshaw Goddard and PwC. Ligentia was advised by Rothschild, Squire Patton Boggs, KPMG, Roland Berger and Crosslake. Santander is providing revolving credit facilities to Ligentia as part of the transaction.