German rail and logistics giant DB Schenker Logistics has purchased Redhead International

The purchase, for an undisclosed sum of the Motor Transport Top 100 operator, expands DB Schenker's land transport operations in the UK.

It will however see the DB Schenker Logistics name replaced by the Redhead International banner within the UK as part of a 'reverse integration', with Redhead’s management team leading the enlarged business.

Parent group Schenker AG, which is the logistics arm of Deutsche Bahn, expects to complete the acquisition of 75% of Redhead International early next year, with plans to own the company entirely during 2020.

AG Schenker said the combined business will operate more than 300 vehicles via “five regional depots, strategically placed offices and partner relationships across the UK”.

This suggests depot closures could be on the cards, as DB Schenker Logistics UK operates 14 depots in the UK (where it employs 750 people), while Redhead International has seven depots in England and Ireland.

Redhead declined to comment on this point.

However a spokeswoman for DB Schenker said: "There won’t be any closures under the merger, since the 14 depots include the locations of Schenker UK overall, not only land transport.

"Schenker UK employees in the land transport section will work for Redhead International," she said.

Redhead International was founded in 1978 and employs more than 200 staff. The company handles more than 20,000 consignments each month running scheduled services to over 40 European and North African countries. The company was 74th in this year's Motor Transport Top 100, with an annual turnover of more than £32m.

Ewald Kaiser, Schenker AG land transport board member, said: "This acquisition underscores our strategy to strengthen and grow our pan-European network. It improves our access to the UK market and the combined resources will facilitate our strategic growth aims."

Tony Suggitt, MD of Redhead International, said: “The new venture brings the best of both companies together and will further strengthen the infrastructure of our UK & European network.”

DB Schenker is in the midst of a management and company restructure after delivering "unsatisfactory" results for the first half of 2015, largely due to lack of growth in the company’s domestic market in Germany. DB Schenker’s logistics business fared better in the period, with land transport consignments up 3.8% and contract logistics up 16.6%.