In a rapid twin deal, both sides of the stricken Conviviality drinks business have been sold – the wholesale operation to C&C Group in Dublin and the retail chains to Bestway Group.
Earlier this year – part of the same package – Bestway bought WS Retail (127 Central Convenience stores), previously part of Palmer & Harvey but later bought by Conviviality.
Zameer Choudrey CBE, Bestway Group CEO, said: “The deal provides much needed certainty to these stores. Our priority will be to stabilise the supply of stock. We are able to provide job security to over 2,300.”
Dawood Pervez, Bestway Wholesale trading director, added: “The purchase of the four businesses further strengthens our position within the convenience retail sector.”
Last year, sales of Bargain Booze, Select Convenience and Wine Rack were £445 million; WS Retail turned over £75.7 million.
C&C Group, owner of Magners, Tennent’s and Bulmers, has taken over the Matthew Clark and Bibendum wholesale companies, paying a nominal £1 and assuming £102 million in debts. The takeover was supported by AB InBev.
The former Conviviality wholesale operation, which has been supplying bars, pubs and restaurants, was recently valued at £750 million. Just months ago it won a contract to supply the JD Wetherspoon pub chain.
Matthew Clark was acquired for £200 million in 2015 and Bibendum for £60 million a year later.