Harrison Global Buys Established, Storied New England Company

Posted on January 9, 2013

Harrison Global managing partners Bill Gemmell and Russell Cooke run a growing New England-based operation, which just acquired Regal Limousine Service of New Hampshire.
Harrison Global managing partners Bill Gemmell and Russell Cooke run a growing New England-based operation, which just acquired Regal Limousine Service of New Hampshire.

BOSTON — Harrison Global, one of Boston’s largest limousine companies, closed a deal Dec. 28, 2012 to buy Regal Limousine Service of Northampton, N.H., a leading chauffeured transportation provider for New England’s 21-mile long Seacoast region.

Exact terms of the non-brokered transaction — which includes purchase of 34 Regal chauffeured vehicles and its company offices and vehicle facility — were not disclosed. With this acquisition, Harrison Global will run a fleet of 130 to 150 vehicles, with older and/or redundant models being phased out in the near future to eventually hit an average fleet target of 130 chauffeured vehicles.

The purchase gives Harrison Global a strong presence in the area served by Regal, which stretches from Portland, Maine to the South Shore of Massachusetts. With company-owned operations in Boston and Washington, D.C., Harrison Global evolves further as a leading chauffeured transportation company in the Northeast. It also has company-owned operations in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

In a statement, Harrison Global co-owner Derek Marcou said: “Regal Limousine Service, a former LCT Operator of the Year, is a terrific company with a long history of delivering excellent service to its customers. This transaction is an important strategic piece to our overall growth plans in the New England market.”

Regal Limousine Service has historical significance in the limousine industry, since it was founded by brothers Richard and Paul Ford in 1983 with a single car and grew into a 40-vehicle, 55-chauffer operation specializing in the Seacoast region. Regal, also known for its strong wedding business and signature antique-looking trolleys, was selected for an LCT Operator of the Year Award in 2001.

Former owners Richard and Dee Dee Ford will remain with Harrison Global as advisors during a transition period and then move on to other business pursuits, said Bill Gemmell, managing partner of Harrison Global, in an interview with LCT. Regal Limousine will continue to operate under its name and brand until it eventually will phase into Harrison Global. Regal employees will keep their jobs, growing Harrison Global’s overall workforce to about 125 employees, Gemmell said.

“We’re strong in the Boston market with Logan International Airport and this gives us better capacity to handle Manchester, N.H., as well as the Portland, Maine airports,” said Gemmell, calling Regal “a quality company that’s been in business for a long time.”

The deal evolved out of an ongoing dialogue with the Ford family, Gemmell said. Harrison Global and Regal Limousine have been affiliates for many years.

“We’ve known the Fords for a long time,” Gemmell said. “Russ and I had discussions a number of times. The time was right for [the Fords]. This was a natural evolution of a longstanding relationship. Russ is a friend of Richard and Dee Dee.”

Harrison Global, with affiliated service in 450 cities worldwide, is owned by brothers David Marcou and Derek Marcou Jr. Cooke and Gemmell run the company day-to-day as managing partners. In addition to Harrison Global, the Marcou brothers own a Boston taxi service, a school  bus business, and a public transit-related venture.

Harrison Global plans to continue pursuing its growth efforts across the Eastern Seaboard.

— Martin Romjue, LCT editor

Related LCT articles about Harrison Global:

Harrison Global, TCI Worldwide Merge

Harrison Global Acquires North Carolina Limo Service

Harrison Global Integrates Smaller Boston-Area Operation

Related LCT articles about Regal Limousine:

New Hampshire Limo Operator Sees First Trolley Succeed

Operator Finds Brisk Paratransit Demand

New England Operator Purchases Limousine Company

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