130-year-old food wholesale business acquired for £21m

Ben Maxted

Kitwave Group plc, a delivered wholesale business, has acquired Total Foodservice Solutions, an independent northern England food wholesaler.

The total gross consideration for the acquisition is £21m in cash and has been funded from Kitwave’s current banking facilities.

Established over 130 years ago, Total Foodservice delivers wholesale catering supplies of around 4,000 product lines including chilled, frozen and ambient food, non-food and cleaning products.

Its depots are in Clitheroe, Lancashire and Huddersfield, West Yorkshire with customers including licensed trade and restaurants, coffee shops and sandwich bars, schools and universities and the care industry across the North of England.

Total Foodservice reported an audited turnover of £25.4m, profit before tax of £2m and its balance sheet had net assets of £8.5m for the financial year ended 30 April 2023.

It will be incorporated into Kitwave’s existing Foodservice division which currently comprises the trading operations of David Miller Frozen Foods Ltd, MJ Baker Foodservice Ltd, Westcountry Food Holdings Ltd and HB Clark & Co (Successors) Ltd.

Ben Maxted, chief executive officer of Kitwave, said: “We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Total Foodservice, which is a one-stop shop for wholesale commercial catering supplies and enables us to further expand our product range offering across the North of England and in particular Yorkshire and the North West, complementing our existing foodservice offering.

“Total Foodservice is a well-established business in the catering industry and we look forward to welcoming its team to Kitwave and integrating the business into our Foodservice division.

“This acquisition is in line with Kitwave’s growth strategy, and we will continue to seek to identify further opportunities in the UK’s highly fragmented wholesale market to deliver further value to the group and its shareholders.

Founded in 1987, following the acquisition of a single-site confectionery wholesale business based in North Shields, Kitwave specialises in selling and delivering impulse products, frozen, chilled and fresh foods, alcohol, groceries and tobacco to around 42,000 mainly independent customers.

The group has a network of 30 depots, which support delivery throughout the UK to independent convenience retailers, leisure outlets, vending machine operators, foodservice providers and other wholesalers, as well as national retailers.

Stephen Newman and Emma Spragg of Ramsdens Solicitors’ corporate team provided legal advice to Total Foodservice.

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