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Port of Tauranga’s announcement today that it had bought Auckland firm Tapper Transport for $15 million came with a touch of tragedy after the death of one of the trucking company’s founders.
The announcement comes a day after Tapper Transport director Simon Tapper died after a period of ill health.
The port said it was Mr Tapper’s wish to proceed with the announcement, as he had regarded it as “perfect closure” for a career in the freight business that he was so passionate about.
Chris Tapper said his brother felt the new partnership between the port and the transport company was a “breath of fresh air” during an extremely trying time for importers and exporters.
“Simon had a vision for a long time as to how the Auckland container market would operate in the future. The development of our new multimodal container hub adjacent to MetroPort is a realisation of that vision.
“He saw that the physical location of the two adjacent facilities in the centre of 80% of Auckland’s importers and exporters would give our clients the most cost effective and efficient service possible.
“He had no doubt that the project would form an essential part of Auckland’s freight infrastructure, and for that reason, Tapper Transport could not have undertaken it alone.”
Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns said the new deal would allow the port to further develop its MetroPort inland port as an integrated freight centre and distribution hub.
He added that Tapper Transport was a logical choice as a business partner.
“It’s a family company with long-serving staff and a strong customer service ethic, and we look forward to working together to grow the company for the benefit of our customers.”
The purchase – which comes into effect next month – will see the port purchase 100% of the shares and assets in the group for $15 million, with a two-year earn out provision that will see the current Directors staying on over this period.
The earn out is based on increases in 2011/2012 ebitda and has a maximum payment of $4 million.