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Glasgow-based Monarch Transport is under new ownership after the completion of a management buyout (MBO) at the firm.

John Weir and Derek Anderson completed the acquisition of the business this month, having begun the process with an initial payment last December.

The deal, supported by an independent bank, sees founder David McFarlane, a Palletforce founder haulier-member, exit, although he will continue to advise the business as a consultant.

Monarch Transport, based at Moorpark, also has a depot in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire. The majority of its work is palletised freight, with a number of clients in the event and construction/scaffolding sector.

The new owners

Anderson joined Monarch Transport four years ago as a traffic accounts manager and has worked for the likes of TDG.

Weir is an ex-driver who made the move into an office role at packaging firm SCA working on their transport requirements. He ultimately ended up in a similar role at Norbert Dentressangle, before joining the business he now co-owns close to seven years ago on the traffic desk.

Anderson told MT that the deal stemmed from an “off the cuff” remark from McFarlane about winding down. “We thought, well we could do this,” he said. Anderson added that rather than place the business on the open market McFarlane was keen to hand it over to those that knew it.

Both men ultimately assumed the role of general managers as part of the handover to get up to speed on every aspect of the business, which was founded in 1989 and employs 13 people.

Phase two

The new owners plan to diversify their customer base and increase the firm’s headcount as part of ‘phase two’.

“The previous owner built this from scratch, but he was only one man. We’re looking to push the business forward and are excited and positive about its future,” Weir told MT.

Traditionally Monarch Transport has relied on sub-contractors running under their own colours, but it is looking to add five to ten owner drivers - it has five at its Nottingham site - to the roster, and to develop its brand.

Next month it will take delivery of the business’s first liveried curtain-sided trailer, courtesy of textile manufacturer Tony Beal, with plans for more to come in an effort to boost awareness of the company.