Blakemore becomes UK’s No.3 after BA buyout

Blakemore Wholesale became the UK’s third-biggest cash and carry wholesaler (after Booker and Bestway) last week when it bought out the Welsh BA Cash amp; Carry mini-chain for an undisclosed sum.

One of Wales’ oldest and most successful wholesale Features > Business, BA Cash amp; Carry, owned by the Ahmed family, was founded in 1972. BA’s business consists of two large depots, one in Cardiff and the other in Swansea – the latter was once Wales’ largest wholesale depot.

Blakemore Wholesale MD Sam Wilcox said in a statement: “This is a major acquisition for Blakemore and comes soon after our purchase of three Lowries Wholesale depots, in the North of England, last July.

“BA is another well-established family business and the purchase will strengthen our position within the wholesale sector, specifically across South Wales, following the purchase of Mogford’s Cash amp; Carry, in Newport, back in 2001.

“BA is a highly regarded wholesaler, boasting two of the largest depots in Wales along with a growing delivered retail and food service operation. Blakemore Wholesale is delighted with this acquisition and looks forward to working alongside the 180-strong BA team to deliver an even greater level of service to our combined customer base.”

As a result of the purchase, Blakemore Wholesale now has 14 C amp;C depots located across Wales (Bangor, Newport and now Cardiff and Swansea) the West Midlands and the North of England, with around 600 staff. The newly-expanded operation will continued to be headquartered in Wolverhampton Science Park in the West Midlands

Blakemore Wholesale is part of the wider AF Blakemore group, which began life in 1917, as a grocery store in Wolverhampton and now employs more than 7,500 people with a turnover in excess of £1.1bn. Three years ago, it acquired another successful Welsh family-owned business in Capper amp; Co.

AF Blakemore’s group finance director Scott Munro-Morris added: “I am delighted that we have completed this strategic acquisition together with our Group refinancing, which has been the result of a lot of hard work from people across AF Blakemore, BA Cash amp; Carry and our professional advisory teams.”

The deal was supported by funding provided jointly by Lloyds Bank and Barclays, while PwC acted for the Ahmed family.

PwC corporate finance director Gary Partridge said of his client’s new owners: “BA is a fantastic example of a Welsh business managed with family values and which puts a lot back into the community. AF Blakemore is a business forged from the same tradition… it’s a perfect match.”

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