East Anglia: C&H (Hauliers) Ltd sold out of administration to CM Downton Ltd

A C&H (Hauliers) Ltd tractor unit and trailer.

A C&H (Hauliers) Ltd tractor unit and trailer. - Credit: Archant

A haulage company with depots across East Anglia and the South East has been sold out of administration, saving 180 jobs.

C&H (Hauliers) Ltd, part of the Charles Gee Group which went into administration a week ago, has been acquired by Gloucestershire-based logistics firm CM Downton Ltd which already operates 10 distribution hubs around the country.

The sale was agreed by administrators Geoff Rowley, Phil Armstrong and Andrew Sheridan, partners at business restructuring and recovery specialist FRP Advisory LLP.

They were appointed as joint administrators of the Charles Gee Group and a number of its subsidiaries, including C&H, on October 21 following a deterioraion in trading conditions.

“The sale of C&H secures the jobs of all 180 staff employed by the business,” FRP said in a statement today. “The sale of the company has ensured the security of the C&H business and it will continue to trade as normal under new ownership.”

However, FRP warned that some redundancies were likely among the remaining 70 employees of the Charles Gee Group and the other subsidiaries in administration, for which the administrators are still seeking buyers, although they will continue to trade for the time being.

C&H, which was estalished in London’s East End in 1960 and has been part of the Gee group since 1970, is a leading supplier of transport services to the paper industry ? handling 2.2million tonnes of forest products a year ? as well as being involved in general and container haulage,

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It operates more than 130 tractor units and more than 250 trailers out of depots in Tilbury, Felixstowe, King’s Lynn, Chatham, Aylesford and Didcot.

Joint administrator Phil Armstrong said: “We are delighted to have found a good new home in CM Downton for the business of C&H, its staff and its array of loyal customers.

“For more than 50 years C&H has transported core parts to Britain’s manufacturing base and its services have been integral to their success. That continuity of service is now secured under new ownership.

“We would like in particular to thank the support of C&H customers which helped ensure a successful, swift business turnaround through the protection of the administration process. We wish the purchaser and everyone involved with the business continued success for the future.”

Mr Armstrong added: “We remain highly focused on working with the rest of the Charles Gee Group’s customers and suppliers and in engaging with interested parties.

CM Downton, which already operates around 500 tractor units and 1,600 trailers, is based at Moreton Valance in Gloucestershire and has hubs in Quedgeley, Coventry, Dunstable, Leeds, Runcorn, Avonmouth, Shepton Mallet, Shotton and Tilbury.