Discussions are continuing between Key Lekkerland and representatives of Blueheath and Booker regarding the future membership status of the enlarged company within the buying group.
Talks involving Key Lekkerland, Booker chief executive Charles Wilson and Blueheath boss Mark Aylwin were hastily arranged last Friday after the announcement of the Booker/Blueheath merger.
Blueheath is one of four Key Lekkerland wholesale members, and both Aylwin and Wilson have expressed an interest in retaining this status for Booker Group after the deal is completed on 4 June. "All I can confirm is that talks were and continue to be amicable as both parties seek the best option," said Key Lekkerland MD John Liptrot. "It is business as usual as Blueheath remains a member of Key Lekkerland supplying KeyStores and national contract accounts."
Before talks got under way, Ronald Hannah, MD of Key Lekkerland wholesaler JW Filshill, told The Grocer he did not think Booker Group would stay with Key Lekkerland. It would most likely recruit a new member for Blueheath's territory of London and around its CTM Wholesale depot in Wrexham, he said.