In a move to enter West Australia’s booming economy, Melbourne transport company Metropolitan Express Transport Services has acquired Perth-based haulage business Lazza's Hiab & Tilt Tray Service.
Metropolitan Express Director, Sam Pantou, said the privately owned company seized the opportunity to take over a WA-based business because it amounted to “an investment in a company with a strong history and fundamentals in an industry segment we understand and where we can add significant value”.
Lazza's operates from a fully serviced depot in Forrestfield and services all of WA, with a special focus on supplying the mining and construction industry. The company also offers interstate haulage and courier services in the Perth metro area.
Lazza’s was founded as a classic ‘one truck, one man’ business in 1996, when owner Larry White moved from Queensland to Western Australia. The company has since grown to a fleet of 22, with a team of 20 people. According to Metropolitan Express’ Sam Pantou, Larry will retain a minority shareholding in the business, while Metropolitan Express will take over administrative control.
“Larry has been operating various trucks and co-ordinating transport equipment for more than 25 years and was able to establish strong relationships with blue-chip clients during that time. Hence we believe Larry’s philosophy and visions are compatible in many areas of our business and we welcome the White family as shareholders,” Mr Pantou said.
“For now, both Metropolitan Express and Lazza’s continue trading under their existing names; the only notable change is that we will install additional management staff in Perth,” Pantou added. “The future will then see the gradual implementation of Metropolitan Express’ corporate identity.”
Pantou also said all staff will retain their current positions. “In fact, we are looking at expanding the business in the near future and we will continue placing high value on local expertise. A number of WA-based clients have already signalised that they are excited to see the Metropolitan Express brand move west.”
Founded in 1986, Metropolitan Express has grown from a fleet of twelve vehicles in its first year, to now running in excess of 200 vehicles, ranging in size from small courier vans to state-of-the-art semi-trailers.
The company sees future expansion through acquisitions like Lazza’s and innovation as demonstrated in the FPSS trailer, which was launched in December.