CROFTON Pallets Limited, which has been manufacturing in Glebe Road, Huntingdon, for more than a quarter of a century, has been sold. The Scott Timber Group, which has bought it in a multi-million pound deal, says it has taken a significant step towards achieving its target turnover of \u00A3150 million. It is the biggest deal in the company's history. The acquisition of Crofton Pallets now gives the group detailed coverage of the UK and further underlines its position as Europe's and one of the world's leading pallet manufacturers, a spokesman said. Through the acquisition Scott Timber has boosted turnover from \u00A357 million to over \u00A375 million - with its Latvian operation generating a further \u00A320 million turnover - while staff numbers have increased from 600 to nearly 700. Of those, 64 are employed in Huntingdon, former co-owner Paul Watkins told The Hunts Post. Crofton Pallets has been among the UK's most automated timber pallet producers for a number of years, having recognised early in its existence that advancing from manual production techniques was one of the keys to achieving market leadership. Today, many companies insist on automated production as part of their pallet specification. Crofton, which has been manufacturing pallets since 1974, also has plants in Grimsby and Wisbech. The sites now "complete the map" for Scott Timber which has built its manufacturing bases around its customers and "can now boast detailed coverage of the UK offering unparalleled levels of speed, efficiency and quality of supply. "As one of the UK's largest pallet manufacturers, Crofton is renowned for its new pallet supply and quality of service," the spokesman said. "Scott Timber will look to build on this with the support of the Crofton management team, which will remain in place. The two owners of the Huntingdon-based company will also remain on board during a handover period. John Scott, managing director of the Scott Timber Group, said: "This is the most significant strategic acquisition we have made in our history". The acquisition of Crofton underlines the ambitions of the Scott Timber Group, which had turnover of \u00A315 million as recently as 2003 and is now on target to achieve turnover of \u00A3150 million by 2009.