Menzies Distribution buys Bathgate-based JBT

Menzies Distribution announced the acquisition of JBT Distribution, a Bathgate-based logistics and supply chain services business with annual sales of more than £23 million.

Private equity fund Endless LLP bought Menzies Distribution from Edinburgh-based global aviation services business John Menzies plc in 2018 for an enterprise value of £74.5 million.

“The transaction cements Menzies’ position as a major force in UK logistics, extending its network coverage with the addition of 200 vehicles and six operating sites,” said Menzies Distribution.

“JBT sits alongside Menzies in Motor Transport’s Top 100 logistics companies by size.

“Based in Bathgate, West Lothian, with further depots in Aberdeen, Inverness, East Kilbride, Lerwick (Shetland) and Kirkwall (Orkney), the acquisition adds to Menzies’ geographical reach across Scotland, its growing blue-chip customer base and also provides further capability to add to Menzies’ growing range of B2B retail logistics services.

“The company brings an outstanding record of reliability in providing solutions across a number of complementary sectors including retail, healthcare (with a notable specialism in temperature controlled logistics), packaging and parcel home delivery.

“The acquisition represents the fourth announcement of strategic importance made by Menzies in six months and accelerates the significant momentum already seen in the group’s recent progress.

“In December 2020, Menzies sealed a transformational deal combining two of the UK’s major logistics businesses.

“It acquired Bibby Distribution, now Menzies Distribution Solutions, unlocking geographic potential for Menzies while adding 38 new operating sites and a large, young fleet to the well-established Menzies platform.

“In January 2021, former Asda CEO Andy Clarke was appointed as non-executive chairman.

“In May 2021, former Booker CEO Charles Wilson joined as a non-executive director and new significant investor.

“In September 2018 Endless LLP, the private equity investor, acquired Menzies Distribution as part of the business’s separation from John Menzies PLC.

“The newly independent company outlined at that time how it would develop the business through widening its service offering and geographical coverage.”

Menzies Distribution CEO Greg Michael said: “We are gaining momentum at pace as we execute our ambitious strategy for growth and are delighted to acquire JBT.

“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 in Scotland and throughout the UK and Ireland.

“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 Robert Gordon, Donald Carmichael and the rest of the team at JBT to help deliver this.

“We warmly welcome our new colleagues and look forward to the next phase of our journey as an enlarged group.”

Robert Gordon, Director of JBT Distribution, said: “The directors of JBT Distribution are delighted to announce the acquisition by Menzies Distribution.

“We believe that Menzies is aligned with the future strategic and growth plan in the sectors in which we operate and will enhance the service offering of the business both locally and nationally.

“There will be exciting and new opportunities for the staff at JBT, whose dedicated input to the business has taken it to the position it is in today.

“We wish them all continued success within the larger business group and know they will continue to support the customer base with the same level of dedication that has always been evidenced.”

Andrew Ross, Partner at Endless LLP, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Menzies Distribution with their second acquisition in six months.

“This acquisition further accelerates the momentum in our strategy to transform and diversify the operations of this business.

“We look forward to working with Robert Gordon, Donald Carmichael and the wider JBT team to further grow the business as part of the Menzies group.”