Wholesaler buys 1,500-store convenience retail group

Bibby Line Group has sold Costcutter Supermarkets Group (CSG) in a deal which will see 1,500 stores become part of Bestway Wholesale.

Bestway is the UK’s largest independent wholesaler and its retail division already includes Bargain Booze, Best-One and Wine Rack. It said the Costcutter group, which also includes Mace, Supershop, Kwiksave and Simply Fresh, would “continue to operate as normal”.

York-based Costcutter has enjoyed a transformation in its fortunes recently and in 2019 it recorded a £5m EBITDA profit after losing £4m the previous year. Sales grew 10% to £426m.

The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

Dawood Pervez, managing director of Bestway Wholesale: “Costcutter is a great brand with a long heritage and a history of success alongside industry-leading and loyal retailers, with some of the best in-store execution in the business.”

The sale of Costcutter is part of Bibby Line Group’s strategic realignment of the business and follows the disposal of Bibby Distribution to Menzies Distribution announced last week.

John Cresswell, chief executive of Bibby Line Group, said: “We hope CSG will continue to prosper and grow as it becomes part of a larger business with deep retail expertise.

“This is also positive news for Bibby Line Group, completing the planned strategic realignment of our portfolio, further strengthening our Group balance sheet for future investment.”

The deal is conditional on approval by the Financial Control Authority, which is expected in the first quarter of 2021.

Bibby Line Group was advised by CMS and PwC on the agreed sale.