Family sells historic Dundee shipping firm DP&L Group

DP&L offices The firm was established as the Dundee, Perth and London Shipping Company in 1826

A 188-year-old Dundee shipping company is set for expansion after it was sold to a local businessman.

DP&L Group was founded as the Dundee, Perth and London Shipping Company in 1826 to carry passengers and cargo.

After expanding into travel, recruitment services and industrial supplies while owned by the Chalmers family, the firm has now been sold to businessman Alick Bisset.

He plans to build up the firm's current trade beyond Tayside.

DP&L operated passenger steamer services to London until the outbreak of World War Two in 1939 and maintained cargo shipping routes, including links to St Petersburg and the Mediterranean until 1962.

The group has been connected to the Chalmers family for 80 years and was fully bought over by them in 1993.

Alasdair Chalmers, who took over from his father as managing director in 1987, is retiring after 30 years with the group during which time it expanded into travel management, industrial and hygiene supplies, marquee hire and recruitment.

'Embracing change'

He said: "DP&L has prospered by embracing and accepting change.

"This is a significant development and it ends a family connection of 80 years.

"However, the sale to Alick and the management secures the future of the group. My family and I wish them every success."

Mr Bisset acquired the group, which has a turnover of £14m and employs more than 50 staff, for an undisclosed fee and will take over as managing director.

He said he would be "delighted" to "build upon the good work achieved under the Chalmers family stewardship".

He added: "I am looking forward to working with the management team to not only consolidate the current trade but to expanding the group beyond its traditional Dundee heartland.

"While the group's activities are diverse, it is our intention to better leverage the relative strength of each division.

"This will include improving our online presence and increasing business development activity to build upon the group's existing customer base."

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