The Office of Fair Trading has approved the acquisition of Au Logistics by rival brochure distribution company BP Travel Marketing Services.


BP, which is part of Orbital Marketing Services Group, said the acquisition is a result of a decline in brochure packs from 12 million five years ago to seven million today and a 25% drop in high-street agents in the last three years. All existing contracts have been honoured.


However, both BP’s Ashford head office and Au Logistics’ Birkenhead premises will continue, as will both brands, as neither site can cope with the numbers of brochures, particularly during peak periods.


BP managing director Paul Markland will head up the new group, while Au directors Garry Winterburn and Rick Menzies are leaving. Au Logistics’ commercial director Graham Murray will head up the Birkenhead operation.


Markland said: “Brochure print runs have reduced, so by putting the two sets of volume together we will be able to maintain the current service levels and pricing.”


Markland added that the acquisition left both companies in a strong position to cope with the effects of the economic downturn, the impact of the internet on marketing holidays and consolidation of high-street shops.


He added: “Travel agents and brochures are a valuable part of the holiday sales chain and will be for a long time to come.”