August 22, 2019 @ 9:42 by Steven Hugill
An independent wholesaler has strengthened its market presence after taking on a chilled product operator.
Kitwave has bought Central Supplies for an undisclosed fee.
Bosses at the North Shields-headquartered firm say the deal will bolster its customer offering, with Central Supplies’ wide chilled service sitting alongside Kitwave’s existing frozen operations provided by Eden Hulleys.
Based near Birmingham, Central Supplies has a turnover of around £50 million and operates across the UK, providing products such as cheeses, yoghurts and cold meats.
Under the terms of the deal, Ben Maxted, Kitwave’s head of frozen and chilled operations, will join Central Supplies’ board and sit alongside existing members David Packham and Sean Trow.
Ben said: “We’re very pleased to complete the investment in Central Supplies.
“The business has a proud history of providing a quality delivered solution to its customers and this ethos is a key part of the Kitwave Group.
“Central Supplies will continue to run as an independent business, as do all of the Kitwave Group businesses, and we look forward to building the operations further with its loyal employees, customers and strong supplier relationships.
“Sitting alongside our nationwide frozen operations, the addition of this chilled product offering will create exciting opportunities for the group.”
David Packham, Central Supplies’ managing director, added: “This investment will provide a great platform for the next level of growth in the business.
“The senior management and staff are really looking forward to working closely with the Kitwave team over the coming years to execute our plans and to continue to drive our service quality across the wholesale sector.”
Kitwave, founded by chief executive Paul Young in 1988, has transformed itself from a regional confectionery-based business to a national wholesaler through a number of acquisitions since 2011.
Its regional operations include Automatic Retailing, in North Shields, Eden Farm, in Peterlee, County Durham, and M&M Value, which has bases in North Shields and Middlesbrough.
Its Central Supplies acquisition was supported by new finance facilities made available by Barclays and Yorkshire Bank.
Muckle LLP and KPMG provided legal and due diligence services.