AN award-winning Northwich haulage firm has joined forces with a fellow family business to form one of the largest fleets in the UK.

Jack Richards and Son has announced the sale of the business to Turners (Soham) Ltd – creating a combined fleet of more than 2,100 units and 3,500 trailers.

The Turners Group will take over Jack Richards’ sites to provide an extensive haulage offering across 38 UK sites with 4,000 employees.

It cements a long-held friendship, with one of Turners’ co-founders a friend of Jack Richards, who set up his own company in 1956.

Jack’s granddaughter and company director Lisa Richards, based at the Lostock Gralam depot, said the deal would put Jack Richards and Son in the ‘strongest possible position’.

Lisa said: “It’s a natural fit – two family-owned haulage businesses with a similar heritage, we share the same core values.

“Both companies have built a reputation for reliability and exemplary customer service. This partnership will secure our future as a leading road transport business in the UK.

“In a time of economic uncertainty, our industry is venturing into unknown territory, but this investment from Turners puts us in the strongest possible position to maximise the opportunities ahead.”

Chairman Anthony Richards – Jack’s son – added: “This deal protects the future of the company and all our staff. We are excited about working with Paul Day and feel very optimistic about the future of the company.”

Paul, grandson of co-founder Wallace Turner, is managing director of Turners.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted that Jack Richards & Son has joined the Turners family.

“We share the same vision for growth, innovation and world-class customer service.

The connection between the two companies dates all the way back to the 1950s when our grandfathers were friends, so it feels like we were destined to come together.”

The acquisition of Jack Richards & Son positions the Turners Group in the top 15 road transport companies in the UK with a projected turnover of £475M in 2019.

There will be no immediate change to the name Jack Richards and Son, and the existing board of directors will stay the same. Anthony and Lisa will each retain a 10 per cent shareholding in the business.

There will be no staff redundancies as a result of the sale and all existing contracts will remain in place with customers.