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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Ballymena company McBurney Transport sold for £143m

It has been revealed that Ballymena-based haulage company McBurney Transport has been sold to Danish company DFDS for DKK 1.2 billion (approximately £143m).

DFDS, a leading European transport and logistics provider, has agreed to acquire the family-owned McBurney Transport Group, which was founded in Ballymena in 1965 by local man Norman McBurney OBE. Still headquartered in the town, the company expanded to include hubs in Cairnryan, Dublin, Larne, Penrith & Heysham.

The deal also includes McBurney Refrigeration Ireland Ltd, and Bondelivery NI Ltd.

Established with a single lorry, the McBurney Transport group has grown over the past 50 years to become a much trusted logistics supplier to many companies across the UK and Ireland.

The company has been a success story of the decades and now has over 800 employees and serves high-street retailers, supermarkets and food producers with temperature-controlled and ambient warehouses and multiple strategically located depots in the UK and Ireland. The Group operates a fleet of around 400 trucks and 1360 trailers, including 955 refrigerated trailers.

Much-respected local businessman Norman McBurney recently announced the multi-million pound sale in a letter to the Group's employees. Mr McBurney said:

"Due to my retirement, I am pleased to announce that we have agreed to sell the entire share capital of our Companies to DFDS A/S.

“l am delighted that the businesses will continue as they currently are, within the DFDS Group.

"The family and senior management team will continue to run the businesses with my daughter Carolyn Carmichael appointed as my replacement as Managing Director. We wish to assure you that it will be very much business as usual going forward and we have no doubt that the business will continue to grow from strength to strength.

"We would like to thank each and every one of you for your loyal service and commitment. We are exceptionally proud of how you have represented our family business throughout the years and what we have collectively achieved."

Despite becoming one of Ireland’s largest independently owned logistics group, the company prided itself in remaining a family owned and managed business which according to McBurney Group gave the company 'the ability to make faster decisions and respond quickly to our customers changing needs and issues as they arise.'

Commenting on the acquisition, Torben Carlsen, CEO DFDS said:

“DFDS is dedicated to serving the UK and Irish markets with reliable and efficient transport and logistics services. With increasing importance, we connect our UK and Irish services with the rest of Europe through our extensive network. With the acquisition of the McBurney Transport Group, we enhance the scope of our customer offerings, particularly towards the resilient food sector.”

Further to his statement to company employees, Norman McBurney OBE, said:

“By becoming part of DFDS, we gain access to new development opportunities. I am certain the wider market coverage, including access to DFDS’ extensive transport network, will benefit our many longstanding customers. I am confident that our many loyal and dedicated employees will be comfortable and happy after this transaction.”

The acquisition is not expected to be completed until Q1 2023 as it is subject to approval by the Competition Authority in UK & ROI.


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