Sunday 16 December 2018

BWG agrees deal to buy 4 Aces Wholesale

Spar operator BWG has purchased midlands wholesaler 4 Aces. Stock image
Spar operator BWG has purchased midlands wholesaler 4 Aces. Stock image
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Retail group BWG, which controls the Spar franchise in Ireland, has agreed to buy 4 Aces Wholesale, a family-owned business based in Co Laois.

It supplies more than 1,500 independent retail, food service and licensed trade customers in the midlands. Its customer base includes a network of Gala convenience stores.

The price being paid by BWG was not disclosed and the deal is subject to competition clearance.

BWG, whose CEO is Leo Crawford, is 80pc-owned by stockmarket-listed Spar South Africa.

4 Aces Wholesale generated turnover of €57.5m in 2016 and employs 85 staff.

It's owned by Liam Linden and Paschal O'Brien and has significant wholesale operations in Portlaoise, Navan and Clonmel.

The business had net assets of €14.5m at the end of 2016. Its revenue slipped 2.6pc that year, and it posted a group operating profit of €658,000. That operating profit was down from the €908,000 it made in 2015.

In its 2016 accounts, it noted that it had seen a "marginal decline" in gross profit margin during the year. The company blamed the decline in 2016 revenue on a "slight, general economic decline" that year.

Mr Crawford said the 4 Aces business has a "strong reputation" for delivering service to customers.

The 4 Aces management team will remain with the business.

The chief executive of 4 Aces, Gary Desmond, said that BWG's expertise will help to strengthen the Gala brand.

The Gala symbol group was established in 1998 by a consortium of Irish wholesalers. The Gala group includes 220 stores across Ireland.

Irish Independent

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