NewRoads to Acquire APL Consumer Division

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Customer service and fulfillment outsourcer NewRoads is expected to announce today that it has acquired APL Direct Logistics, the consumer direct fulfillment division of APL Logistics.

Under the deal, NewRoads, Greenwich, CT, assumes the lease and management of APL Direct Logistics' 300,000-square-foot facility in Hebron, KY, and will take over its contracts. NewRoads has made offers to all of APL Direct Logistics' current employees and plans to staff up further for the holidays.

The acquisition boosts NewRoads' capacity by 10 percent to 2.5 million square feet and will amount to "in the tens of millions of dollars" in new revenue, said Fred Forsyth, president/CEO of NewRoads. "We would consider it a very sizable purchase."

He said the acquisition fit what NewRoads executives call the five Cs model: the right clients, the right cost, the right capabilities, the right capacity and the right culture.

When asked how he determines whether an acquisition is a cultural fit, Forsyth said, "Is it an environment where people trust each other, or are they stabbing one another in the back? You can sense this pretty fast when you start talking to an organization."

Citing competitive concerns, he declined to name any clients that came with the deal.

The deal follows two smaller acquisitions for NewRoads this year, said Forsyth. He also declined to give details on those acquisitions.

NewRoads has more than 20 customer service and distribution centers offering fulfillment of information requests, products and rebates to customers who order by phone, the Internet and mail order.

Forsyth characterized NewRoads as more focused on human resources than technology.

"We have seen failure after failure in this industry of people who applied technology first," he said. "We have people in divisions all over the country who have 15 years of experience in the direct space. You just don't hire them off the street."

APL Direct Logistics' location "fills a hole for us relative to the Midwest," Forsyth said. "We can reach 80 percent of our clients within two days over the ground."

NewRoads' clients include Restoration Hardware, Godiva Chocolatier, American Eagle Outfitters, Procter & Gamble and Bluefly.

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