Booker combines with Blueheath

Blueheath has conditionally agreed a reverse takeover of Booker, although the much larger Booker will dominate the new group.
Under the terms of the deal the new company will be called Booker Group plc and Booker’s current chief executive Charles Wilson will be chief executive of the enlarged company. Blueheath chief executive Mark Aylwin will become managing director for the delivered wholesale business of the enlarged group.
Blueheath had a turnover of £132m in its last financial year and made a loss of £4.9m, while Booker is expected to report turnover in excess of £3bn in the year to March 30 and an operating profit of not less than £39m.
Under the deal the shareholders of Giant Topco, which owns Booker, would own 90% of the enlarged company and Blueheath’s shareholders would own the remainder.
An EGM of Blueheath’s shareholders to approve the deal will be held on June 1, with the deal becoming effective from June 4.
Richard Rose, executive chairman of Blueheath, who will become non executive chairman of the enlarged group, said: “We are very excited by this chance to create a dynamic new force in the UK wholesale market. This transaction will form the UK’s largest food wholesaler, by combining Booker’s scale, customer base, catering expertise, coverage and brands with Blueheath’s technology and delivery expertise.”
Wilson said: “Booker has made great progress in the last 18 months and this transaction gives us the opportunity to take the group to the next level. A combined Booker/Blueheath will be able to offer retailers and caterers an unrivalled service of national delivery, top-up delivery and cash and carry.”

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