Menzies makes Irish acquisition

Logistics firm Menzies Distribution, that is in the process of taking over the troubled DX Group, has taken full control of Irish news and magazine wholesaler EM News Distribution in a deal reportedly worth €3.6 million.

Under the deal, Menzies is to increase the 50% existing stake it has in the Irish firm to 100%, buying out the remaining 50% share that is currently held by the Irish retailer Eason.

This is the latest acquisition in a succession of purchases made by Menzies, that has lately included delivery firms AJG Parcels, Thistle Couriers and Oban Express. In part due to this, Menzies Parcels now delivers more than 3 million parcels every year.

Finance director Paul McCourt said: “Taking full control of EM News Distribution gives us the opportunity to bring our full expertise to bear on serving the news trade sector across Ireland. It also provides us with a similar platform to explore new logistics services in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, similar to the approach we have been taking across Scotland, England and Wales.”

While this has been happening, Menzies Distribution parent company John Menzies plc have said in a trading statement that the proposed deal to take over DX group is running smoothly and is expected to be completed later this summer.

“I am confident we will be able to deliver on a deal to combine the businesses of DX (Group) plc and Menzies Distribution,” said chairman Dermot Smurfit.

Gatemore Capital Management, the activist DX investor that wants to block the deal, has now increased its state in DX to 21 per cent. It argues that Menzies Distribution’s core business of newspaper distribution is low margin and declining – making it unattractive to DX investors. This may well be an issue for Menzies but we will see what transpires.  
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