The Independents Independent Wholesaler

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