The deal was finalised on Friday (25 October) and will see CM Downton take on all 180 C&H staff and take over the £23m turnover business’s operations with immediate effect.

Andrew Downton, managing director of CM Downton, said: “The Downton Group has been looking to expand its business through either acquisition or mergers, and the C&H business was a perfect match. We both work in the same sectors – in particular with paper and publishing clients – and there are synergies for both businesses that made the deal a no-brainer.

“C&H is a fantastic business with a great heritage, which unfortunately had suffered through the cash flow difficulties of the holding company. To be able to save this business – and its staff – while driving forward our own business was too good an opportunity to turn down.

“We would like to clearly state that Downton has absolute confidence in Steve Mercer and the management team at C&H, and we will continue to work with them going forward as we build up this great business.”

Phil Armstrong, partner at FRP Advisory and joint administrator, said: “We are delighted to have found a new home in CM Downton for the business of C&H, its staff and its array of loyal customers.

“For more than 50 years C&H has transported core parts to Britain’s manufacturing base and its services have been integral to their success – that continuity of service is now secured under new ownership.

“We would like in particular to thank the support of C&H customers which helped ensure a successful, swift turnaround through the protection of the administration process. We wish the purchaser and everyone involved with the business continued success for the future.”

The deal means that 180 jobs are being rescued and sees Downton take over assets, including 130 tractor units and 250 trailers added to the Gloucestershire-based haulier’s fleet.