Whistl acquires Clientbase

Richard Stuart-Turner
Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Delivery management group Whistl has acquired Clientbase Fulfilment and Contact Centre, its third transaction in the e-commerce fulfilment and contact centre sector.

Whistl now employs around 2,250 staff
Whistl now employs around 2,250 staff

Founded in 1999, Clientbase is a privately held company based in Paignton, Devon, which offers the full fulfilment service for home shopping companies, including pick and pack, 140 seat contact centre capability, warehousing, returns handling and delivery.

The business serves brands including Cisco, Dogs Trust, Madeleine, Peter Hahn, RSPCA, Secret Lab, Scotts of Stow and Sophie Conran.

It was founded by managing director David Fanous, sales and marketing director Rob Smeddle and financial director Angus Dick. Fanous will remain with the company, Smeddle will become a consultant and Dick will retire.

Clientbase’s 250 employees have all been kept on as part of the acquisition, which was completed earlier this week, and will continue to be located at the firm’s two sites in Devon, continuing to trade under the Clientbase brand.

The deal continues Whistl’s rapid expansion into the e-commerce fulfilment and contact centres market – the company now has eight fulfilment warehouses across the UK.

It entered the sector through the acquisition of Prism DM in 2017 and expanded its presence the following year with the acquisition of Spark Response and Spark Etail.

And last month the company revealed it has taken leases on around 42,000sqm of warehouse space at its existing Rushden fulfilment capability and G-Park Northampton.

Whistl chief executive Nick Wells said: “We look forward to welcoming the Clientbase team into the Whistl family. They share our entrepreneurial approach and commitment to best-in-class service.

“Combining their expertise alongside our current and growing capabilities enable us to provide the scale and resource required to meet the ever-expanding demand for online shopping.”

Fanous added: “Through joining forces with Whistl we will strengthen their already well-established fulfilment arm and, in turn, we will now be part of the UK’s leading delivery management company and be able to draw upon their expertise and infrastructure.”

With a turnover of more than £685m, Whistl now employs around 2,250 staff and is headquartered in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

Last week the company revealed that it is set to relocate its Bristol operation, which will be used for the company’s business mail and parcel collection and sortation operations for the South West, to a new, larger purpose-built site next year.

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