Woodward takes over DBC

A £500m turnover foodservice business has been created by the takeover of DBC Foodservice by Woodward Foodservice.
The deal, just a year after the management buyout of Woodward, makes the company the third largest delivered foodservice group after Brakes and 3663.
Woodward boss Ed Hyslop has become chief executive of the combined group, and after a short handover period DBC managing director Peter Judge will move to a post with Danish Crown, DBC’s former parent company.
Hyslop said DBC would otherwise continue to operate unchanged for the next few months, while a thorough review was undertaken, and said the two businesses offered great potential for growth.
He told ProWholesaler: “There is very little overlap between the two companies. Where Woodward is weaker in the south east, DBC is strong, and where DBC is weaker, in Scotland, we are strong.
“We also have complementary product strengths. Woodward’s strength has been in frozen fish and chilled whereas DBC has strength in ambient and meat.
“We will undertake a review over the next few months to ensure we combine the strengths of the two businesses.
“The rationale for this deal is not eliminating overlap but creating a platform to grow market share. We believe the opportunities for a strong third player to grow are enormous.”
Both companies had strong forward momentum, said Hyslop, with Woodward having recently won the contract to supply Little Chef and DBC being part of the consortium that won the £150m a year MOD supply deal.
The MOD contract, which is likely to be worth between £100m and £120m to the company, will not be affected by the deal. Hyslop said MOD was being handled almost as a business within a Features > Business, and would be run in the same way, but that Woodward could provide additional support.
A phased roll-out of deliveries started on Monday September 11, and the full handover from 3663, the previous contract holder, will be completed by October 2. The Dundonald depot, which 3663 used to service the MOD in Scotland, is transferring over to Woodward, and other main depots will be Nottingham and Petersfield.
One of the first tasks following the deal, said Hyslop, would be talking to suppliers about the increased opportunities for them. He said: “I hope they will want to invest with us.”
DBC was a substantial member of Landmark Wholesale and Hyslop said: Landmark is important. It is a major supplier and customer [DBC carries out some logistics for it]. Clearly we need to talk to Landmark about the future.”

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