Monday, February 11, 2019

Two Scottish Road Haulage Outfits Change Hands to Encompass Broader Logistics Field

Management Buy Out Precedes Takeover Announcement
Shipping News Feature
UK – One of the country's best known road haulage operators has changed hands after a management buy-out. Currie Solutions, having rebranded in 2017 from Currie European Transport to better reflect the company's move from road transport into the wider logistics field, is now headed by managing director Stephen Turner who has been employed at the Scottish headquartered firm most of his working life and held his current title for the past nine years.

Turner has taken control of the majority of shares following a deal with previous owner Tom Barrie. Turner was previously Finance Director for six years before resigning that position in 2006 and then returning to a directorship two years later. The company was first formed by Norman Currie and still bears his name.

Turner was candid about both the state of the road haulage industry, and his company’s own status but says he believes the industry is ripe for change with rationalisation and cooperation being the watchwords. He continued:

“Like many, our results have not been easy on the eye in recent years. Most transport businesses have had challenges through increasing fixed costs and variable costs, without the margin increase in revenue to offset. Importantly though, we are not sitting around to wait on the next set of results, we have a strategy that is centred around the consolidation and collaboration that needs to take place in the market, and we will drive forward with that strategy.

“The MBO was prompted by the business working through its plan for the years ahead. Tom Barrie and I felt it was the right time for him and the right time myself to make this change, more importantly, we both believed it was important for the business. As Managing Director, I have been fortunate enough to lead the business since 2010 and I am now ready to take this great business on its next exciting journey.

“I won’t make any bold statements, instead, like we have always done, Curries will continue to make decisions that are best for the Group. With the support of our financing partners, we are now in a position to make more progressive decisions that support our vision. We see an opportunity to expand our footprint in Scotland pretty quickly and beyond that there are wider, longer term plans for us to work towards.

“I am delighted, as someone who’s lived in Dumfriesshire man and boy, it’s been a huge part of my life working with Curries, and to finally be in the position to acquire the company is a real privilege. My vision is simply to ensure that we become the business of choice for our customers and staff to work with and in doing so we enable the growth of business in Scotland, the rest of the UK and Europe.”

Putting that consolidation principal into action Currie has just acquired Dundee based PS Ridgway which operates around 40 trucks utilising 70 staff from its four-acre site on Smeaton Road and its Greenock depot. For now Ridgway will retain its own livery and identity and the business will be merged with the Currie group which the parties say will bring several key benefits to both businesses by way of Increased revenues, enhanced geographical footprint, traffic synergies and wider pallet network opportunities. Company co-founder and chairman Donald Ridgway, commented:

“We were approached at the right time. The transport industry is becoming tougher and Currie’s operation fits in very well. Curries have traffic flows into our area and we have it going outward, the move will maximise efficiencies. All the staff are being retained and Curries have plans for expansion as well.”