AF Blakemore has acquired fellow Spar retailer and wholesaler Capper & Co.
The merger will create the largest Spar wholesaler in the UK, serving a total of 1,096 stores, and a group with a combined turnover of £1.1bn.
South Wales-based Capper & Co will trade as a separate division of AF Blakemore with Capper chairman, Bill Capper and managing director, Robert Upton, joining the AF Blakemore board of directors.
AF Blakemore’s 5,572 employees and the 2,418 employed by Capper & Co will forge a combined workforce of 7,990.
AF Blakemore’s group managing director, Peter Blakemore, said: “This is a great opportunity to bring two long established, family-owned businesses together and allow us to move forward in the growing UK convenience store sector.
“AF Blakemore and Capper & Co are similar companies that already have a shared history and a common set of values.
“The two businesses currently operate in regions adjacent to each other and this will allow for many benefits to be realised, particularly in areas of trading and distribution.
“The Spar organisation has been built upon the ethos of working together to achieve mutual benefit and this news represents a natural progression of this approach.
“Both companies will bring examples of best practice and the aim is to identify the best of both businesses to create one great organisation.”
Capper said: “I believe that integration with AF Blakemore is the right way forward for Capper & Co. It will strengthen Spar in the UK and bring many opportunities and benefits to the business.”
AF Blakemore’s head office and central distribution centres are located in Walsall, West Midlands.
The company’s current Spar-based business serves 664 stores, which covers an area that stretches from North Wales to East Anglia and North Lincolnshire to north of the River Thames.
In addition to its Spar activities, AF Blakemore also operates cash & carry, food service, meat distribution and shop fitting businesses.
Capper & Co’s head office and central distribution centre is located in Talbot Green, South Wales, with another distribution centre in Hastings, East Sussex. The company’s current Spar based business serves 432 stores, and covers an area from South Wales through to Gloucester, Oxfordshire, Sussex, Kent to south of the River Thames.