Ice Co Storage and Logistics has bought East Anglian cold storage and logistics firm Savage Haulage in a multi-million pound deal.

The purchase sees Ice Co Storage and Logistics expand its geographical footprint in a move which is also aimed at staving off the impact of spiralling inflation and energy costs.

The company, which has sites across Lancashire, Yorkshire and the North East, is the distribution arm of Hull-based J Marr Group.

Savage Haulage, run by brothers Martyn and John Savage, has depots in March, Cambridgeshire, and Thetford, Norfolk.

The £5.9m turnover company was established 60 years ago and has operating licences for 33 trucks and 33 trailers.

Ice Co Storage and Logistics operates blast freezing and tempering services with a 51,000 pallet capacity.

It offers bespoke third party cold storage and transport and distribution services nationwide and has six sites which include its headquarters in South Kirby in Yorkshire and depots at Newcastle and Preston. It has operating licences for a fleet of 54 trucks and 100 trailers.

Paul Martin, MD of Ice Co Storage and Logistics, said: “The acquisition of Savage Haulage provides us with greater geographic reach and capacity and allows us to benefit from greater economies of scale in the face of inflationary pressures which are eroding margins across the haulage and cold storage industry. Combining operations puts us on a firm footing for growth in the years ahead.”

Martyn Savage, joint MD of Savage Haulage, added: “Ice Co Storage and Logistics is a family company with the same values and ethics as ourselves.

“They are committed to continuing the existing operations, retaining existing personnel in the same positions and creating further opportunities in East Anglia as they take the business forward.”

Stephen Reed, partner at accountancy firm Price Bailey, which was appointed by Savage Haulage ahead of the sale, said: “The distribution and storage sector is highly fragmented with many owner-managed SME operators.

“Consolidation is occurring as operators seek to grow through acquisition and reduce marunit costs through economies of scale and other operational efficiencies by combining resources and extending the range of services offered to customers.

“Ice Co Storage & Logistics is a natural fit with complementary customers and Savage Haulage offers them a tremendous opportunity for geographic expansion.”

Savage Haulage was also advised by Tees Law solicitors