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Waltham limo company expands with new acquisition

The Waltham company that bought BostonCoach from Fidelity Investments last year has acquired another chauffeured car service and named a new chief executive of the operation.

Marcou Transportation Group said it has acquired Dav El Chauffeured Transportation Network of Chelsea for an undisclosed price. Together, Marcou said, the companies will have $250 million in annual revenue and provide services in 550 cities around the world.

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Dav El will relocate about 2 miles to BostonCoach’s headquarters in Everett. The combined firm will retain both brands. It will have 3,000 employees and 1,700 company-owned vehicles.

Scott Solombrino, Dav El’s owner, will become chief executive of the combined companies. He confirmed that the two executives who formerly ran Marcou’s limousine business — Russell Cooke and Bill Gemmell — had left the company.

Cooke and Gemmell had helped build BostonCoach for Fidelity in its early days; the deal was hailed last May as a chance for them to again run the company. Cooke declined to comment Tuesday. Gemmell could not be reached.

Fidelity had sold BostonCoach, a company started in 1985 by Fidelity chief executive Edward C. “Ned” Johnson 3d, amid declining revenues.

The service grew and flourished through the 1990s and into the 2000s, but dropped dramatically around the time of the financial crisis.

Solombrino, 54, acknowledged that chauffeured cars are a “very tricky industry,’’ made more competitive as Uber entered the business and gained a niche among riders using mobile devices to hail rides. But he said that he expects the new business to grow and that it will be hiring drivers and reservation agents.

Solombrino said he got into the limo business as an 18-year-old driver. As a college freshman, Solombrino said, he bought a 10-year-old Cadillac limousine for $600 and started Fifth Avenue Limousine. He later bought a company called Dav El in New York and moved it to Chelsea.

David and Derek Marcou, owners of the company, were not available to comment on Cooke’s and Gemmell’s departures. Solombrino said, “We certainly wish them nothing but the best.’’

Vincent Wolfington, the former chairman of Carey International, a large Washington, D.C., chauffeured service company, said Cooke’s and Gemmell’s departures were likely the result of a culture clash with the Marcou brothers, who come from more of a taxi-black car orientation.

BostonCoach and Dav El are somewhat higher-end, appealing to corporate clients seeking black car and sedan limousine service.

Overall, Wolfington sees the business consolidating but also becoming more profitable. “My personal belief is that the industry will continue to grow and prosper as the economy rebounds,’’ he said.

Beth Healy can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @HealyBeth.
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