Bestway Wholesale today announced agreement for the acquisition of Costcutter Supermarkets Group (CSG), from Bibby Line Group. This takes Bestway Wholesale’s annual turnover to almost £3 billion, alongside a symbol, franchise, and company store retail estate of more than 3,795 stores in the UK, (including 2,682 fascia and 195 company owned).
The acquisition will complete on FCA approval, and follows the improvement in CSG’s financial performance over the last two years further to investment in key areas of the business. During the 12 months to 31 December 2019, CSG’s sales rose by 10% to £426 million with sales and profitability continuing to rise throughout 2020 as consumers increasingly shopped locally as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company employs around 500 people.
Under the terms of the acquisition, CSG and its brands will become part of Bestway Wholesale’s retail division and continue to operate as normal. Approximately 1,500 stores branded under Costcutter, Mace, Supershop, Kwiksave, and Simply Fresh, along with 20 Costcutter and 4 Co-op franchises, will join Bestway Wholesale’s retail estate, including; Bargain Booze, Best-One, Wine Rack, Select Convenience and Central Convenience.
Dawood Pervez, Managing Director of Bestway Wholesale, has reinforced Bestway’s commitment to retailers and shoppers, and has emphasised that CSG’s retailers will continue to enjoy all the benefits, features, and services they currently enjoy with CSG. He says:
“As part of Bestway Wholesale, the team at Costcutter will be able to build upon the amazing results they have been achieving in partnership with their retailers, helping them to innovate and adapt to an ever-changing market in order to grow their businesses and sales.”
“We are keen to reassure CSG’s retailers that it is ‘business as usual’ and they will see no change in how they currently work with CSG. The existing CSG supply contract with Co-op/Nisa is not affected by the acquisition and Nisa will continue to supply CSG stores. The 2,000 Co-op SKU range has proven to be an important driver of footfall and sales, as well as providing CSG retailers with an exceptional range of fresh produce.
“This means that Costcutter’ retailers will continue to benefit from access to the same range they have today, including a fresh offer that is right for today’s convenience shopper, as well as the Co-op’s Own Brand range.
“CSG has a series of virtual Roadshows planned for January and I’m looking forward to meeting as many retailers as possible, and having the opportunity to discuss their views, their needs, and explore ideas for the future”.
“Furthermore, we are looking forward to welcoming CSG’s team of 500 employees into the Bestway family.”
Pervez maintains that CSG retailers, shoppers, and suppliers, will be further supported by the additional scale of Bestway Wholesale with the collaborative partnership approach, making Bestway the partner of choice for growing sales in the convenience market:
“The acquisition of CSG by Bestway Wholesale enables us to further build on our solid foundations in Independent Retail, allowing us to expand on our already established, and highly respected, fascias, brands and national network of stores. Clearly, there will be benefits of scale and investment in joining forces for our retailers, shoppers, and suppliers.
“Independent retailers are vital hubs within their local communities that have become increasingly valued and appreciated by consumers – and government – for their services during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to support and champion this sector and will be investing for its future alongside range, service excellence and technology. Our message to all our retailers is that ‘together we are stronger’ at a time of economic uncertainty, both with COVID-19 and Brexit ahead”.
On completion, the family-owned business, which also operates across the pharmacy, banking and cement sectors, will become the eleventh largest independently owned multi-national conglomerate in the UK. Founded by Sir Anwar Pervez in 1976, the family remains at the helm with nephew, Lord Zameer Choudrey CEO of Bestway Group, and Sir Anwar’s son, Dawood Pervez, as Managing Director of Bestway Wholesale.
Darcy Willson-Rymer CSG’s CEO of nine years will be leaving the business following completion of the acquisition. He says:
“Joining the Bestway family could not have come at a better time for our retailers. Joining a business of Bestway Wholesale’s size, scale, and expertise will unlock new opportunities to help CSG’s independent retailers thrive. This is a cause that I know Bestway is absolutely committed to.
“Right now, that means three things: helping our retailers navigate the challenges of the COVID pandemic, continuing to invest in the BDM support our retailers receive and the retailer sales growth we are able to deliver through Shopper First; and introducing new and innovative ways to engage shoppers and deliver the very best retail offer available.
“While I will not be part of Costcutter’s journey moving forward, it is exciting to see the fresh opportunities this acquisition will bring.”
Dawood Pervez – who will lead the business as Managing Director of Bestway Wholesale – thanked Willson-Rymer for his vision and contribution in driving the business over the past decade and said:
“Darcy has played a major role in bringing the CSG business to where it is today and we would all recognise his contribution, and wish him every success in the future”.
John Cresswell, CEO of Bibby Line Group, said:
“Over the last two years, CSG has transformed itself into a profitable and much stronger business, and I’d like to thank the team for their unstinting commitment and passion for helping independent retailers thrive.
“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.”