The latest news concerning the Kitwave group, from our most recent acquisitions to the latest member to join our team.

H.B. Clark launch new Mobile App

H.B Clark have launched a mobile app which has proved an instant hit with their customers. Users can now log on to place an order on their mobile phone by easily navigating through product groups, NPD’s, must stocks, customer favourite lists and promotions. Users can also use the mobile phone’s camera to scan the product’s barcode to add it to the basket.

The app works in conjunction with the already successful online trading website. This enables customers to start their order on the app, review it online to complete, and vice versa.

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H.B. Clark invests in fleet

After months of anticipation and waiting, finally we get to view our new fleet. DAF have built these to the high specification we requested. Every vehicle ergonomically designed and engineered to our individual requirements. Featuring all the latest safe loading procedures and driver aides. Our supplier partners supported us in the livery of each vehicle and were keen to see the un-veiling for themselves. Big thank you to them for embracing our vision on this. Our team of drivers who will take delivery of the new trucks are thrilled to be behind the wheel of what is, the latest modern fleet of vehicles on the road today.

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Kitwave Wholesale Group expands alcohol offering with acquisition of H B Clark

North Tyneside based wholesaler Kitwave has continued its rapid expansion plans with the acquisition of H B Clark one of the UK’s largest independent alcohol wholesalers.

The deal comes hot on the heels of the recent acquisition of Phoenix Fine Foods and marks the beginning of a new phase of growth for Kitwave following a multimillion pound investment from Pricoa Capital Group earlier this year.

H B Clark, based in Wakefield, which has a turnover of around £80m, is a highly respected wholesale supplier of alcohol and soft drinks to the on trade sector. They operate across the wider North of England from 11 depots and also produce their own brand craft ales.

The purchase of the Wakefield-based company, for an undisclosed fee, is the second acquisition since the refinancing deal and will expand Kitwave’s offering and customer base across the wider North region.

Jay MacKay will join the business as the new Managing Director. Jay has worked within the Kitwave Group for a number of years and has over 30 years industry experience. Jay said: “We’re very pleased to complete the acquisition of H B Clark. Clark’s has a proud history of providing a quality delivered solution to its customers and this ethos is a key part of the Kitwave Group. H B Clark will continue to run as an independent business and we look forward to building the business further with its loyal employees, customers and strong supplier relationships.”

In March, Kitwave completed a refinancing deal which saw the business raise funds from lead investor Pricoa Capital Group and a co-investment partner Allstate, for a minority stake, in order to continue pursuing its acquisition strategy.

Kitwave, founded by CEO Paul Young, in 1988, has transformed itself from a regional confectionery based business to a diversified, national wholesaler through a number of acquisitions since 2011. The group has built a reputation for excellence in service quality, product availability and customer relationship and has a strong foundation for the future. As well as now having nationwide delivery capability, the group has expanded to offer frozen, ambient and own label products to the independent retail, vending and food service sectors.

Kitwave recently was included again into The Sunday Times ‘Top Track 250’ and has over the last 2 years been involved with the London Stock Exchange ‘Elite’ scheme for fast growing companies. More recently, the Group has entered the prestigious Grocer’s ‘Big 30’ ranking for the first time as the 15th largest UK-based wholesaler.

The acquisition was supported by new finance facilities made available by Barclays Bank and Yorkshire Bank. Kitwave were supported on the transaction by Muckle LLP and KPMG on the acquisition in providing legal and due diligence services.

For further information please contact:

David Brind (Kitwave:Finance Director) – 07775 545 228

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Squirrels UK Ltd receives a Queen’s Award for enterprise in international trade

Squirrels UK, part of the Kitwave Wholesale Group has received the prestigious 2016 Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade – this was in recognition of achieving outstanding growth in export sales over the last 3 years. The awards are made annually and this year coincide with Her Majesty’s 90th birthday celebrations.

The business started in 1970 from a market stall in Walthamstow, selling branded food products at discount prices. It has successfully grown over the years and since January 2015 has been a part of the ever expanding Kitwave Wholesale Group. Squirrels UK is now one of the leading distributors of food and drink directly into the discount sector.

The company exports a wide range of ambient food products including confectionery, grocery, biscuits and soft drinks with a vision to grow its export sales by a further 50% per year over the next 5 years. Squirrels also export a range of own brand products under the name ‘Thurston’s Fine Foods’ with development led by Managing Director David Yolland supported by Sales Director Nathan Glover.

David on hearing of the award said “Nathan and I are honoured to receive this prestigious award on behalf of everyone in the business as recognition of the effort put in to grow the export business. Without the support of the staff, customers and suppliers working together this would not have been achieved.”

Only 249 Queen’s Awards (QA) have been announced this year for outstanding business achievement in the fields of International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development with winners invited to attend a special reception at Buckingham Palace.

The awards are made annually by HM The Queen and are only given for the highest levels of excellence demonstrated in each category.

To find out more about The Queen’s Awards visit

Notes for Editors
249 Queen’s Awards (QA) have been announced this year for outstanding business achievement in the fields of International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development. Winners of The Queen’s Awards can expect an invitation to attend a special reception at Buckingham Palace.
QA winners can also use The Queen’s Award Emblem in advertising, marketing and on packaging for a period of five years as a symbol of their quality and success.
The awards are made annually by HM The Queen and are only given for the highest levels of excellence demonstrated in each category.
To find out more about next year’s awards visit the Queen’s Award website

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Kitwave Wholesale Group completes £ multi-million deal to fund its appetite for growth

Fast growing group, Kitwave Wholesale has completed a refinancing deal which sees the business raise funds from lead investor Pricoa Capital Group and a co-investment partner Allstate, for a minority stake, in order to continue pursuing its acquisition strategy. The transaction also provides an exit for NVM Private Equity, which invested in the business in 2011.

Kitwave, founded by CEO Paul Young, in 1988, has transformed itself from a regional confectionery based business to a diversified, national wholesaler through 11 acquisitions since 2006. The group has built a reputation for excellence in service quality, product availability and customer relationship and has a strong foundation for the future. As well as now having nationwide delivery capability the group has expanded to offer frozen, ambient and own label products to the independent retail, vending and food service sectors.

In 2014 Kitwave broke into The Sunday Times ‘Top Track 250’ and was invited to join the London Stock Exchange ‘Elite’ scheme for fast growing companies, more recently the Group has entered the prestigious Grocer’s ‘Big 30′ ranking for the first time as the 15th largest UK based wholesaler.

Paul Young, CEO of Kitwave, comments on the deal: “This deal marks the start of the next chapter of our growth story, which sees revenues on track to reach in excess of £260m in the current financial year. During the last five years, since the NVM investment, we have made strategic acquisitions that have taken us into new markets, geographies and product ranges. During this time the business has also invested heavily in its infrastructure, IT and importantly in its senior management team. This new investment will allow us to develop further in some key focussed areas and we are excited about delivering on our ambitious expansion targets for the future. ”

Donald Campbell, Senior Vice President, Pricoa Capital Group, adds: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to finance Kitwave on this recapitalisation with Allstate as a co-investment partner. With a well-defined strategy Paul and his management team have succeeded in building a diversified nationwide wholesale business and have clear plans for continued growth and expansion, which we are looking forward to supporting. This transaction and our on-going engagement with Kitwave exemplify the relationship-focused approach that underpins Pricoa Capital Group’s financing of entrepreneurial management teams with strong track records in the UK mid-market.”

Newcastle advisors KPMG and Muckle advised Kitwave’s shareholders on the deal.

Rod Wilkinson, who leads KPMG’s Corporate Finance practice in Newcastle, says: “This funding deal gives NVM Private Equity a strong exit, delivers Kitwave with the platform to continue its growth strategy and offers Pricoa and Allstate an investment in a business with a strong track record and a pipeline of planned acquisitions.”

Hugh Welch, Senior Partner, Muckle LLP, says: “This is a great deal for Kitwave and for the North East. Our region needs thriving and ambitious companies and inspirational business leaders. Paul, his team and the company epitomise these qualities and I am delighted that Muckle LLP played a part in helping this transaction to happen. I am certain that growth, job creation and further investment will flow from it.”

Mauro Biagioni of NVM Private Equity said: “Kitwave has been a very successful investment for NVM and its funds and is now well positioned for its next phase of growth. It has been a pleasure working with Paul, David and the wider management team, and we wish them every success for the future.”

The deal also sees Kitwave maintain its longstanding relationship with Barclays, which has supported the business from inception, in conjunction with a new association with Yorkshire Bank.

David Collins, Barclays Relationship Director said: “Barclays has been the banking partner of Kitwave since the company was established in 1987 and this transaction is both a significant and pivotal milestone in Kitwave’s history as it paves the way for further expansion and growth. A highly professional and progressive brand that is thriving; the management’s ambitious growth plans is testament to their success and we’re delighted that we’ve been able to support with funding for their further development.”

Charlie Barker, Senior Director in Yorkshire Bank’s Leeds based Specialist and Acquisition Finance team, said: “We’re pleased to announce our support for Kitwave and we look forward to working in partnership with Paul and the management team to continue the company’s impressive growth.”

For further media information:
Alison Anderson, Corporate Communications, KPMG
T: 0113 254 2980 E:

Justin Barlow, Director of Business Development, Muckle LLP
T: 0191 211 7907 E:

Principals and key advisors to the transaction:
Kitwave Group / shareholders (Paul Young, David Brind) NVM Private Equity (Mauro Biagioni). Advised by:
KPMG Corporate Finance (Rod Wilkinson; James Murray; Michael Downes; Nick Broadhead) – deal advisory
Muckle LLP (Hugh Welch) – legal
Javelin Group (Michael Fine) – commercial due diligence
Deloitte LLP (Matt Henderson) – financial due diligence

Pricoa Capital Group (Donald Campbell; Ed Jolly; Jack Gilbert) and Allstate (Gonzalo Erroz; Sharad Todi). Advised by:
Morgan Lewis (Tom O’Connor) – legal

Newco/ Management (Paul Young; David Brind; John Hope). Advised by:
Liberty Corporate Finance (Steve Thomson) – corporate finance
KPMG Debt Advisory (Peter Bate; Chris Lloyd) – debt
KPMG Tax Advisory (Michelle Wilson; Graeme Whitfield; Brad Keast) – tax structuring and personal advice
Muckle LLP (Mike Spetch; Louise Duffy; Jess Swindells) – legal

Barclays Bank (David Collins and Dan Hurst) and Yorkshire Bank (Mike Selina and Charlie Barker). Advised by:
Eversheds LLP (Kathryn Walters) – legal

About Kitwave
Kitwave Wholesale Group is an independent wholesale business, comprising 11 companies with 500 employees, 15 depots and delivery capability throughout the UK. The business specialises in the sale of confectionary, frozen food, groceries, snacks, soft drinks, wine and beer, and tobacco.
Customers include convenience stores, hospitality sector, leisure centres, wholesalers and vending operators in the UK and internationally.

About Pricoa Capital Group
Pricoa Capital Group has been a leading provider of private capital to companies for more than 75 years, investing private debt and equity from its local office network in North America and Europe. Pricoa manages a portfolio of more than US$73 billion (as of 30/12/15) investing up to US$12 billion in private capital annually in companies worldwide. Pricoa has established itself as a premier capital partner to a wide range of UK and European corporates, managed through its Chicago, Frankfurt, London, Milan and Paris offices.

About Allstate
Allstate is an established investor in private equity transactions around the world. Founded in the 1960s, Allstate’s private equity group currently manages more than $3 billion of invested capital in direct transactions and funds led by world-class sponsors and other partners. The team invests from offices in Chicago, London and Hong Kong using permanent capital provided by The Allstate Corporation.

About NVM Private Equity
NVM Private Equity is independently owned with over 30 years’ experience of investing in unquoted UK businesses. NVM is a generalist investor, managing £300 million of funds, and is differentiated by having executives living and working in regional business communities throughout the UK. NVM seeks investment opportunities of between £2 million and £12 million in UK businesses which have the right mix of growth potential and market vision. They may be looking to grow organically, acquire another business or secure a management buy-out.

About KPMG
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 12,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £1.96 billion in the year ended September 2015. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 174,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such

About Muckle LLP
Muckle LLP is a commercial law firm, based at Time Central, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Muckle has nearly 150 people in its team and 27 partners, with specialist expertise in commercial, corporate, property, employment, dispute resolution; and legal-specific sector expertise in registered providers, charities, energy, sports and education.
In September 2015, The Lawyer magazine included Muckle LLP amongst the UK’s best law firms in its ‘clients’ most-wanted’ survey. The Lawyer asked businesses a simple question: “Which external legal services provider do you most like to work with and why?” Muckle was consistently mentioned receiving praise as a ‘highly innovative and responsive firm.’
Experian CorpFin has ranked Muckle LLP was the most active North East dealmaker in 2015 and 2014. Information services provider, Experian, ranks Muckle LLP as the top dealmaker, having advised on more mergers and acquisitions of businesses valued above £500,000 in the region than any other law firm. The Experian results for 2015 demonstrate that, in addition to leading the deal volume league table, the total value of Muckle LLP deals exceeded the combined values of all our ranked competitors who are head quartered in the North East. Follow Muckle LLP on twitter @MuckleLLP and connect with Muckle LLP on LinkedIn

About Barclays
Barclays is an international financial services provider engaged in personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management with an extensive presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Barclays’ purpose is to help people achieve their ambitions – in the right way. With 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 130,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide. For further information about Barclays, please visit our website

About Yorkshire Bank
Yorkshire Bank was founded in 1859 in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Yorkshire Bank is a trading name of Clydesdale Bank plc, part of CYBG PLC.

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Kitwave Wholesale Group continues to grow with acquisition of Hulleys Frozen Foods

Kitwave Wholesale Group, has added an eleventh company to its group following the acquisition of Angelbell Limited (t/a Hulleys Frozen Foods). The acquisition is an excellent fit within the Kitwave Group in terms of its operations and national geography and complements the acquisition last year of another Frozen Food wholesaler, Eden Farm. Overall this will continue to widen Kitwave’s geographic reach and product offerings, and increase its customer base to c30,000.

Newcastle based Kitwave was established in 1987 as an acquisition vehicle set up to purchase independent wholesale businesses. NVM Private Equity (NVM) supported Kitwave in 2011 with £7.5 million of investment to support its acquisition strategy. Paul Young (Kitwave’s Group Managing Director), David Brind (Group Finance Director) and their team have since acquired Anderson Wholesale, Automatic Retailing, Teatime Tasties, Eden Farm, Squirrels UK and now Angelbell Limited.

Hulleys is a family business that has been trading for more than 80 years. It has a complementary product portfolio, being made up predominantly of ice-cream and a wider frozen food offering. Hulleys operates from six depots supplying a delivery network distributing across the whole of England including locations in Nottingham, Louth, Norwich, Kingwinford and Kirkham with head office based in Sheffield.

David Brind, Group Finance Director of Kitwave Group, comments: “The acquisition of Hulleys Frozen provides an exciting opportunity for the Kitwave Group, that will provide additional customers, products and services to our existing offering. In addition to the acquisition earlier this year of Squirrels UK the Kitwave Group now has developed operations across the growing sectors of discount retail, foodservice and frozen product. ”

Mauro Biagioni, Partner at NVM Private Equity, comments: “The addition of Angelbell by the Kitwave Group will serve to complement Kitwave’s existing portfolio of businesses. The success of previous acquisitions proves that Kitwave’s growth strategy is going exactly to plan since we invested four years ago and this latest addition will only strengthen this further. Paul and the team are keen to make further acquisitions across their industry to continue to grow in a fragmented market.”

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Eden Farm expands to new Luton site

With excellent transport links to central London and Southern England the new coldstore in Luton provides a cutting edge, optimised solution for frozen food and ice cream deliveries. With 60,000 square feet of warehouse space and features such as motion activated LED lighting and remote coldstore temperature monitoring, the site provides the perfect infrastructure for our next wave of growth.

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Automatic Retailing launch online trading website

Automatic Retailing have launched an online trading website, which has proved an instant hit with their customer base.
Customers can now logon to place an order, by easily navigating through the recently restructured product hierarchy, or browsing their ‘favourites’ list which highlights recently purchased products by the customer. The site also has clear visibility of promotions and multibuy deals, which are easily added to the basket by ‘one click’ ordering. Users can also browse their account, view their statement, and download past invoices.

Craig Holt from Northbridge Vending Company commented “After being introduced to the Automatic Retailing user friendly online ordering tool, I have discarded the previously preferred paper ordering process. I have found a particularly valuable feature of online ordering in the special offers that are highlighted alongside the products that I usually order, all displayed in a straightforward and uncomplicated manner. This facilitates the ‘best-price’ product selection to meet my ordering criteria. In addition, as an unexpected bonus – ordering online has resulted in reducing errors that occasionally occurred during the paper-based ordering and invoicing processes. Now, as soon as my order is placed online, it starts to be processed immediately with the prices I selected online.”

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Teatime Tasties introduce Mobile CRM sales system

Teatime Tasties have introduced a Mobile CRM solution to capture and process sales orders. It has quickly become a useful tool for the sales team, giving real time information on product stock availability and customer accounts, whist removing the burden of order keying back at the office.

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Introducing the brand new My Store fascia

As part of our on-going commitment to Independent Retailers, we have now established a 300 strong Retail Club. This offers retailers preferential pricing which can then be passed on as consumer deals in their shops. We offer full POS and merchandising support to maximise sales of our My Store Retail Club. This not only increases sales in store but allows them to compete with the larger retailers on the high street.

In 2015, we are developing the My Store brand further by offering a Fascia solution to independent retailers. We have already rolled out 2 trial stores and have in our sights a further 10 for 2015. The two initial sites look great and have seen increased sales since launch.

“The My Store fascia has brought new life into the shop, From the standout fascia to the impactful Gondola Ends inside, our sales have seen a 13% increase since we launched the My Store fascia”
Pravin Patel – My Store Seacroft

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Kitwave Group continues to grow with acquisition of Eden Farm

Kitwave Wholesale Group, has added a seventh company to its group following the acquisition of frozen food and ice cream wholesale and distribution business, Eden Farm. The acquisition fits well with Kitwave in terms of its operations and national geography. Eden’s product offerings will broaden Kitwave’s range considerably, and increase its customer base to over 22,000.

Paul Young, Managing Director of Kitwave Group, comments: “Eden’s Managing Director, Frank Stephenson, and I have known each other for a number of years and we are delighted with the acquisition. Eden Farm is a natural fit for the group – increasing Kitwave’s product range and providing a wider customer reach across the UK. Frank was keen to become part of a larger group, and Eden will continue to succeed and grow with the Kitwave Group behind it.”

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Automatic Retailing named supplier of the year 2013

Automatic Retailing (Northern) Ltd has been awarded the NIVO (National independent Vending operators) Supplier of the Year 2013 for Consumables.

This award is voted for by each individual NIVO member. Automatic Retailing won the vote with a healthy majority.

This is the first year Automatic Retailing has had a formal trading relationship with NIVO, hence the first time they have been nominated, which only adds to the achievement. This is a big award for Automatic Retailing and recognises the fantastic service and effort given by all.

Add this award to the AVS (Associated Vending Services) Supplier of the year 2013 – for the 8th year in a row – and it caps off a fantastic year for Automatic Retailing in the vending wholesale channel.

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Record growth for Kitwave Group

Kitwave, the rapidly expanding Impulse Product Wholesale and Distribution Group, today announced record results for 2013.

The Kitwave Group, made up of seven trading entities, has nearly doubled its turnover to £193 million since a capital investment was made by NVM Private Equity just over two years ago.

This growth has been achieved by the successful integration of Automatic Retailing, Teatime Tasties and Anderson Wholesale – all have been acquired since the investment was made in 2011. The year-end accounts also show positive profitability trends, with profits rising to £5.2 million from the prior year figure of £3.6 million.

Kitwave’s success has won the company a place on this year’s Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250 league table which ranks Britain’s leading mid-market private companies with the biggest sales.

The Group also achieved an impressive level of debt reduction during the year, thanks to strong cash generation from working capital.

David Brind (Group Finance Director) comments: “The board is very pleased with Group performance, in what continues to be a challenging trading environment. The management team has worked hard to successfully integrate three businesses into the Kitwave Group over the last two years, and this is shown in these excellent results.”

Paul Young (Group CEO) comments further: “With the recent addition of Alan Aitchison to the commercial team, the Kitwave Group looks forward to building on these strong foundations, and to continue its growth plan over the coming years. We wish to build on our strong supplier and customer relationships to ensure that we provide the ‘best in class’ delivered service solution to the independent retail, vending and distribution sectors.”

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Automatic Retailing adds to its Fleet

The company has taken delivery of three new Mercedes Actross Gigaspace 450bhp trucks. As with all its fleet the vehicles are delivered in Aquarius Blue a colour unique to the business.

These are the first trucks to be supplied by:

Bell Truck and Van Mercedes Benz
Bellway Ind Estate, Whitley Rd
Longbenton, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE12 9SW

0800023 6070

Allan Walker “we are delighted with this investment in our business which will ensure the continuity of the high level of service we offer all of our customers. At the same time we are doing our bit for the environment as these trucks meet the euro5 emission standards and deliver a 10% fuel efficiency which significantly reduces our carbon foot print”.

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Kitwave Group expands with Teatime Tasties

“It has been many months in the melting pot but as they say all good things are worth waiting for. Paul Young CEO

“TTT further adds to the ever increasing group ability to offer a national delivery service. Our expanded customer base of 20000 can now be offered a full and exciting range of quality cakes and biscuits to run along side our traditional offering. The TTT acquisition completes a trio of acquisitions since my appointment. Our turnover for the first time will exceed £200million but this is merely a step further to our target of £500m. I Iook forward to filling this space with new acquisition news in the months to come.” David Brind FD

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