Menzies Distribution acquires Thistle Couriers

Edinburgh-based Menzies Distribution has acquired Thistle Couriers of Aberdeen for an undisclosed sum — the firm’s third acquisition in the past 12 months.

Menzies said the move underlined its intent to expand its e-commerce offering within the UK’s parcel market.

Menzies Distribution, better known for overnight deliveries of newspapers, outlined plans to secure more business in the logistics market in early 2015 by making better use of its existing depots, vehicles and drivers during daylight hours.

Since then, Menzies has completed the acquisition of courier firms AJG Parcels in Inverness and Oban Express — and sealed two supply chain deals with e-commerce firms B2C Europe and wnDirect.

Formed in 1998, Thistle Couriers provides a UK-wide same-day service, delivers around 1,000 overnight parcels, and makes 450 parcel collections daily in Aberdeen and the Grampian region.

“The purchase of Thistle Couriers strengthens the infrastructure we’ve built with the acquisitions of AJG and Oban Express, and adds a time-critical, same day service to our portfolio,” said Mark Cassie, managing director of Menzies Distribution.

“With our existing geographical reach, especially in harder to access towns, we are able to deliver further and wider than many other players operating within this market — and I think this latest acquisition underlines our appeal to companies seeking cost-efficient deliveries to the north of Scotland.

“We believe that we can offer a compelling partnership proposition to the UK’s major parcel carriers.”

Last month, Menzies Distribution’s parent firm John Menzies said its chief executive Jeremy Stafford had resigned for personal reasons after 15 months in the job.

Menzies said then it had appointed a managing director for its aviation business and an interim managing director for its distribution division.

The company has been under pressure to split in two from some shareholders who believe its aviation services and distribution divisions would be worth more as separate businesses.

Menzies said in January its board  “will continue to review its strategic and organisational options to enhance shareholder value.”