Elgin-based Gleaners Oils is planning to expand further into the south of Scotland and north of England as a new generation takes charge of the family owned business.

Brian Young, whose father founded the company in 1954, has sold his 50% stake in the business to his niece, Jane Scott (owner of the remaining 50%) and her husband, Stephen, for an undisclosed sum.

The new owners are developing an initial three-year plan to expand the business organically and possibly by acquisition. The expansion includes plans to recruit about 20 additional staff.

The business, which has a turnover of £125m and 180 staff, owns nine fuel supply and retail locations stretching from Mull in the West to Cowdenbeath in the East, and to Aberdeen and Skiach in the North East, and supplies a total of 66 sites.

Outgoing chairman Billy Laing, who has been with the company since 1961, said: “We are in a very strong financial position and the company is ready to grow and enter new markets in the south of Scotland and the north of England, which is one of the many plans which the new generation, in the form of Jane and Stephen, have in mind.”

Commenting on the sale, Brian Young said: “I have enjoyed working with Jane over the past few years and, with Stephen joining the company, and the skills which he brings, I look forward to the company continuing to flourish and grow under the next generation.”

Jane Scott added: “We have enjoyed consistent growth over the years and, strategically, are very well placed to take advantage of new opportunities. We supply a wide range of products across different markets – including agricultural, domestic, industrial, marine, petrol and LPG - and have around 16,000 regular business customers.

“The principal focus of Stephen and I is to safeguard and enhance the future of the company, and, with appropriate help from managing director David Todd, to recognise the significant input of the company’s many long-standing employees. We also want to bring economic benefit to Moray and beyond by growing the business.

“Our principal strategy will be to pursue organic growth but we will also consider acquisitions if there is a good fit, and if the sites allow us to build our footprint on a profitable and sustainable basis.

“Stephen and I are absolutely determined to honour the legacy of my Father, Evan, who – along with Brian – did so much to develop the company, to the benefit of so many people.”