Menzies Distribution has bought Bibby Distribution for an undisclosed sum as it looks to broaden its geographical reach and service offering.

The sale comes as Liverpool-based Bibby Distribution continues to try to claw its back to profitability following a major restructuring which has seen its management team strengthened, costs cut and its exit from loss making transactional milk collections contracts.

In its latest results to December 31 2019 the family firm reported a fall in turnover to £166.9m (2018: £185.4m). However pre-tax losses were reduced in the period to £2m down from £7m the year before.

Bibby Distribution operates a fleet of over 1,800 vehicles and trailers. The family run firm operates out of 38 sites and provides contract logistics, warehousing, distribution, systems integration and added value services to sectors including consumer, paper and packaging, industrial and food and drink. It also has 1.82 million sq ft of warehousing space.

Announcing the sale, John Cresswell, chief executive officer of Bibby Line Group, said: “Bibby Distribution has built its reputation as a high quality, safe and reliable logistics provider, and since the company was established in 1985, we have seen it grow from strength to strength.

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“This strategic realignment of our portfolio represents a strengthening of the group balance sheet for future investment. I want to thank all our Bibby Distribution colleagues for their hard work and successes, and the value they have added to customers and our group and we wish them well under new ownership.”

Menzies chief executive Greg Michael added: “We are delighted to acquire Bibby Distribution. We believe that through combining the complementary business with Menzies, there are significant opportunities to grow both businesses through unlocking further geographical capability and expanding services to both sets of customers. For both our businesses’ customers, it will be very much business as usual and we look forward to supporting their growth in the coming years and working with the team at Bibby Distribution to help deliver this.”

Richard Morson, chief executive of Bibby Distribution, said: “Menzies is the ideal partner for taking Bibby Distribution’s achievements of the last 35 years to the next level. Our shared values of outstanding reliability, strong relationships and heritage underpin the compelling prospect of an enlarged group taking the lead on quality and innovation in UK logistics.

“Menzies’ smart approach to supply chain solutions for its customers and pioneering investment in electric vehicle technology show it is a truly future-focused business and we are very much looking forward to embarking on this new journey.

“Having established the business in 1985, Bibby Line Group has been a fantastic custodian for Bibby Distribution and has played a vital part in the growth of the business to this point and I want to thank everyone involved for their support.”

Last week Bibby Distribtion won a three-year extension on its contract extension with Cambridgeshire, UK-based cardboard manufacturer Jardin Corrugated. Under the deal Bibby Distribution will make 160 deliveries each week for Jardin Corrugated, transporting packaging and collecting paper reels from suppliers on return trips.