Staffordshire-based Drac Logistics has purchased Aberdeenshire haulage firm Caledonian Logistics for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition sees Stoke-headquartered Drac Logistics expand its footprint in Scotland, where it operates an office in Falkirk.

The group, which employs 45 staff, will transfer the four staff based at its Falkirk office to the Caledonian Logistics site in Cumbernauld.

Caledonian Logistics, which has 145 employees and operates a fleet of 90 trucks, runs depots at its headquarters in Kintore, as well as at Oldmeldrum, Inverness and Cumbernauld. It also owns a parking yard in Lockerbie.

Drac owner and chief executive Alex Hayes said the acquisition allowed his company to set up a Caledonian Logistics container haulage division, based in Grangemouth and Aberdeen. This will see a £600,000 investment for an additional fleet of 10 vehicles and 14 skeletal trailers.

Hayes told Press and Journal: “Caledonian Logistics has a fantastic name for service and that attracted us in the first place.

“Secondly, we have a strong Scottish customer base and do a lot of food products out of Scotland for European and overseas markets.

“There’s a shortage of container transport within Scotland, like there is all over the UK and Europe. We’ve put in £600,000 investment as well as other cash to grow the business.”

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The acquisition was triggered by the decision by Caledonian owner Derek Mitchell to retire from the business. He will continue as a director until his retirement in December.

Mitchell said: “Drac are currently involved in import and export and will expand the business into these fields.

“Alex and myself had been chatting for the best part of a year and a quarter, and it obviously grew arms and legs from February onwards.”

Mitchell insisted the business will continue as normal. “It’s been part of my life for 24 years, but I’ve sold my shareholding and I’m retiring.  I’m 68 in December and it’s time to move on. The message is it’s business as usual. It’s only a ownership change.”

He added that there will be no change of terms for Caledonian staff. He added: “The company name has to be retained, the company colours have to be maintained and, obviously, the staff have got to be in continuous employment. Nothing changes.”

Andrew Stokes, former head of international sales at Walker’s Shortbread, where he oversaw international logistics operations, will become Caledonian Logistics managing director.

Stokes said: “I’m excited about coming on board with Caledonian. The brand name is very important to us. What Drac are able to do is bring a lot more critical mass to the company to make it more viable. It’s a great fit and our aim is to build the operation based in Kintore and expand it. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

Caledonian Logistics saw pre-tax losses of £872,108 (2021: 134,470) on turnover of £15.17m (2020: £13.95m) for the year to April 30 2022.