AN EAST Lancashire freight giant has taken over a long established Bolton haulage business.

Thomas Harwood & Son, based on Francis Place, Church Street, Little Lever, first opened for business in 1932 and ever since then has provided haulage and distribution services to other companies across the country.

Now the Bolton firm has been acquired by Burnley based EFS Global, which already operates across the North West, in a deal worth an undisclosed sum.

EFS Global managing director Mark Jones said: "For over 80 years Thomas Harwood & Son has been a leading distribution and haulage firm in the North West.

"Its reputation has been built on delivering a first class and personalised customer service experience which mirror EFS’ approach, so we are delighted it is now part of the EFS Global group."

The Phoenix Way headquartered Burnley firm now has 18 depots and offices across the country and operates its own UK and European road freight fleet.

Mr Jones hopes that the expansion into Bolton will mark another step in EFG Global's ongoing growth strategy.

He was advised on the deal by Manchester law firm Davis Blank Furniss.

The firm's corporate team, led by Sonio Singh alongside solicitor Lauren Sever, was on hand to advise on legal due diligence.

Mr Singh said: "EFS Global continues to go from strength to strength in what is a flourishing sector and the acquisition of Thomas Harwood & Son is another important step in its exciting growth strategy."

The deal comes after a busy period for the Burnley firm and follows a number of other acquisitions made by EFS in recent years including Euro SDB, CS Brunt, Bradtrans International, Horizon Distribution, Euro-Tran Despatch, JRS Traction, PDQ Specialist Courier Services, FWD Freight Services, Caistor Distribution, AFI UK Ltd and Austin Wilkinson & Sons Ltd.