The founder of one of Scotland's leading book publishers has said the sky is the limit after taking over one of his closest rivals.

Adrian Searle, managing director of Freight Books, said he expected the takeover of fellow Glasgow-based independent publisher Cargo Publishing to lead to a bright future for both firms' authors.

And he hinted that Freight could one day challenge Scottish publishing giants Canongate for the title of most prestigious publishers in the country.

The deal between the two companies, for an undisclosed sum, was completed late last week and authors with both companies were informed this week.

Freight Books, listed on this year’s Rising Stars list by The Bookseller and twice runner-up in the Scottish Publisher of the Year Award, publishes fiction, poetry, non-fiction and humour. It is the home of authors including Janice Galloway and Kirstin Innes.

It has won numerous literary awards and includes Anneliese Mackintosh’s 2014 Green Carnation Prize Winner Any Other Mouth, Galloway’s Jellyfish and Innes’s Guardian 'Not the Booker Prize' short-listed Fishnet amongst its recent output. It also publishes Gutter, Scotland's leading literary magazine.

Louise Welsh has appeared under the Freight imprint, while In Rude Health, a collection of anecdotes from the NHS has sold 62,000 copies.

Freight's first ever publication, in 2002, was an anthology of writing about Scottish football entitled The Hope That Kills Us.

The takeover will see Cargo directors Gill Tasker and Helen Sedgwick work for Freight on a consultancy basis and join the editorial board alongside Mr Searle and editorial director Rodge Glass.

Mr Searle said: "Freight is ambitious and has been looking for opportunities for growth. The acquisition of Cargo makes total sense, in terms of proximity and synergy.

"Cargo has an excellent list and a similar outlook. We look forward to welcoming its authors to Freight. We’re also delighted to be able to make use of Helen Sedgwick’s and Gill Tasker’s considerable editorial skills."

He added: "It was a deal that made sense. Publishing is all about relationships and this coming together will extend the reach of the authors we represent.

"We're acquiring a publisher who has an interesting backlist of books and authors who we can now expose to a wider audience.

"When you look at Canongate, they are a big and very successful independent Scottish publisher and we'd like to emulate that in our own way."

Key Cargo authors who will now come under the Freight umbrella include comedian Robert Newman, author of The Trade Secret novelist Nicholas Hogg, author of Tokyo, crimewriter Tony Black, author of The Last Tiger, and The Herald's own political commentator Iain Macwhirter, author of Road to Referendum and Disunited Kingdom.

Cargo titles to be co-published with Freight in the next few months include Newman’s popular science humour book The Entirely Accurate Encyclopaedia of Evolution, a cookbook for Scottish homelessness social enterprise Social Bite endorsed by George Clooney, and a new book from Macwhirter examining the 2015 Westminster election titled Tsunami: Scotland’s Democratic Revolution.

Ms Tasker said: "We’re delighted to be joining the outstanding team at Freight Books. Having worked and socialised together over the years we know that Freight’s ethos and vision is the perfect fit for Cargo, and we are looking forward to a bright future, filled with beautiful and inspiring books."