Pall-Ex has moved to ensure coverage continuity in the South-west by buying Cornish network member Intercounty Distribution for £700,000.

The company based on the Pennygillam Industrial Estate in Launceston has an O-licence for up to 22 vehicles and eight trailers. It has been a Pall-Ex member for 14 years.

Pall-Ex MD Adrian Russell said: “The opportunity was presented to us after Intercounty’s MD Nick Coombes announced his retirement earlier this year. We are happy that Nick has decided to stay in his role a little longer to oversee the acquisition.

“We already have an investment in Pall-Ex South West, based in Devon, so this provides us with the opportunity to strengthen our support to our network members in this region even further.

“The South-west is often considered one of the trickiest areas for any network to cover given that it is a peripheral part of the country. There simply are not that many hauliers that are the same calibre as Intercounty in the region."

Coombes set up Intercounty in 1972. Although initially serving customers in the grocery retail sector, the majority of its business these days comes via Pall-Ex. The operator’s website claims it handles some 2,500 pallets a week in and out of Cornwall and Devon for the network.

Following completion of the deal on 12 October, Coombes stepped down as a director of the business,  while Pall-Ex's Russell and Martin Field, the network’s company secretary, were appointed as directors.

Pall-Ex recently confirmed its European expansion plan remained on track despite the tough economic environment on the Continent.