Toga Freight drives forward after completing MBO

The board of Toga Freight Services has completed a management buyout of the 45 year-old business.

Toga Freight Services is rolling into a bright new future after members of its board – Robert Dickinson, Muriel Corish and Darragh Toner – completed a management buyout of the business.

They have acquired the full shareholding of the company, facilitating the retirement from the business of co-founder and majority shareholder Martin Gately. 

“It is a poignant time for me to become an owner of the business that my father founded in 1978. I’m sure he would be delighted that the family’s involvement is to continue for another generation”

Toga Freight Services was founded in 1978 by Peter Toner and Martin Gately, hence the name “Toga”, being a combination of the start of their surnames. Peter passed away in 2016 and since then the company has been owned and run by Martin Gately, Robert Dickinson, Muriel Corish and Darragh Toner.

Toga Freight will continue to operate from their Dublin 12 site and expect no fundamental changes to the business.

The business employs 35 staff and operates a private delivery network of 15 partners in Ireland, and works with eight partners in the UK as well as 11 major forwarders across Europe. It is also a member of the Pangea Global Forwarding Network and have agents in the far east, the US and Africa. In September 2023 Toga successfully requalified as a “Deloitte Best Managed Company” for the fourth consecutive year.

45 years of rolling with the changes

The business has been operating as Ireland leading independent freight forwarding and logistics business for more than 45 years.

Its management team has valuable knowledge of international customs procedures, working with an established worldwide network of agents and all operations are supported by a bespoke freight software system which is a fully integrated package that includes finance, sales, CRM and operations.

Speaking about the MBO, Muriel Corish, Financial Director of Toga said: “The purchase of Martin’s shares was a straightforward process as the MBO team already had an intimate knowledge of the business for many years.”

Darragh Toner, Operations Director of Toga commented: “It is a poignant time for me to become an owner of the business that my father founded in 1978. I’m sure he would be delighted that the family’s involvement is to continue for another generation. Toga is such a strong business operationally and we have some very exciting growth and development plans for the years ahead.”

Robert Dickinson, new Managing Director of Toga explains: “We are very grateful to Martin for agreeing to sell us the business that he co-founded 45 years ago. We are very fortunate that we have been able to acquire such a stable and successful business that has enjoyed some of its strongest trading years in recent times. The new board have a defined and focussed strategy for stable and controlled growth, and we look forward to being able to offer additional services to our 5,500+ customers in Ireland and across Europe. We are sure that our staff, who are a part of our ‘Toga Family’ will enjoy the stability that this MBO has produced and will continue to enjoy the journey we are on in developing and growing our business.”

Bank of Ireland supported the management team with the completion of the MBO.

“We are delighted to support the management team of Toga Freight Services in their recent MBO, marking a significant milestone in company’s long history as a leading international forwarding and logistic organisation,” said Andrew Keenan, senior relationship manager, New Business Origination, Business Banking, Bank of Ireland.

“It was a pleasure to work with Robert, Muriel and Darragh and we look forward to deepening our relationship into the future”.

“From the initial exploratory calls between ourselves and Andrew Keenan, it was clear that Bank of Ireland understand business in Ireland and are focused on helping Irish businesses to grow,” said Dickinson.

“As the deal progressed, the Bank’s team liaised continuously with our tax and finance advisors to ensure their package was suited to us and we were offered various options to reach the end result. The questions asked by the credit team also showed that they understood our business clearly, our history and our plans for the future, we feel very comfortable to have the support of Bank of Ireland.”

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