Abbey Logistics acquires Welch Hire

Abbey Logistics has acquired South West of England liquid tanker specialist Welch Hire, in a deal which includes the purchase of its customer base and tank hire business.

Founded in 1998, Welch Hire has a fleet of48 bulk liquid road tankers and 13 tractor units, and also provides fully managed logistics solutions and single product movements of bulk liquid food grade products throughout the UK and Europe.

Welch’s employees will transfer to Abbey under the deal and the company eventually integrated into the Abbey brand “following a period of familiarisation”, the company said.

Abbey Logistics, twice MT's Haulier of the Year and shortlisted again this year, said the purchase extends its network coverage and give it an operating site in the South West of England and a larger customer footprint in Europe, which Abbey is predicting will open further commercial opportunities for the business.

Welch is well known in the bulk liquid food and animal feed markets in both the UK and Europe, and the company shares several customers with Abbey.

The company declined to reveal the terms of the deal.

Steve Granite, Abbey Logistics CEO, said: “This acquisition is a natural step for us as we further enhance our market-leading position in bulk liquid food and boost the support we provide to customers in the UK and Europe.

“Through strategic acquisitions like this, we are unlocking opportunities in new geographies and accelerating the growth we have seen in the business in the last two years.

“We are fully committed to supporting our liquid food grade customers and this acquisition is a demonstration of that commitment, and our willingness to invest significantly to ensure we deliver an outstanding service in terms of dependability, flexibility and scale.

“Through this deal we are acquiring some great people and a strong tanker fleet, and we are looking forward to welcoming the Welch Hire team into our business.”

A spokesman for Abbey logistics said the management team will remain at the helm of Welch Hire and that there will be no redundancies.

Nick Wheller and company director Melissa Davies of Welch Hire said: “The decision to join Abbey Logistics was a natural one as our two companies are perfectly aligned in our approach to a customer service focused operation.

“I know my team will make a valuable contribution to the future growth of Abbey Logistics and together we will create an unbeatable service for our bulk liquid food customers through our dedication to our customers and an unrivalled knowledge of this specialist market.”