Spar operator BWG buys midlands wholesaler 4 Aces
Deal gives BWG a foot in door of the 220-strong Gala convenience group
Spar, Londis and Mace are operated by BWG in Ireland. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill
4Aces has about 85 staff and had sales in 2016 of almost €58 million, turning a pretax profit of €440,000. Its owners, local businessmen Liam Linden and Paschal O’Brien, will stay on to manage the group under BWG’s ownership.
In addition to supplying Gala stores, it also supplies a wide range of other independent retailers and local stores.
In addition to its main premises in Portlaoise, it also operates from facilities in Clonmel in Tipperary and Navan in Meath. Its operations supply more than 1,500 small retailers and it wholesales to Gala in counties Meath, Westmeath, Offaly, Laois, Cavan, Monaghan, Tipperary, Kildare and Wexford.
Subject to clearance
BWG declined to reveal the consideration it is paying for 4 Aces, which has net assets on its balance sheet valued at €14.5 million and bank loans of less than €2 million.
The transaction is subject to clearance from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. The intensely competitive convenience retail sector has seen a wave of consolidation in recent years, such as BWG’s 2015 deal to buy Londis.
As part of the deal, BWG has been accepted to formally join the supply network for Gala, an independent brand whose retailers nationwide are supplied by nine separate wholesalers.
“We are delighted that we will be joining the Gala wholesaler network and we look forward to contributing to the continued success of the Gala retailers who are currently well served by 4 Aces,” said Leo Crawford, chief executive of BWG.
Gala Retail group said the deal would have no impact on the operations of the midlands Gala stores supplied by 4 Aces.