Catering giant Brakes has confirmed it will buy wholesaler Woodward Foodservice, as predicted by The Grocer last week.

The offer, believed to be £20m, has been accepted by Woodward Foodservice's current majority owners, Icelandic group Baugur, and will go ahead subject to Office of Fair Trading approval.

"I am delighted we have been given the opportunity to join forces with Woodward Foodservice and I look forward to welcoming Woodward's employees and customers to the family of Brakes companies," said Frank McKay, Brakes Group chief executive officer.

Under the deal, Brakes would acquire Woodward's eight distribution centres based in the Midlands, Northern England, Wales and Scotland. Woodward management would continue to manage the brand under the ownership of Brakes.

However, DBC Foodservice, which The Woodward Group purchased in 2006, is not part of the deal and would be run as a separate business.

Brakes said the Woodward brand would sit alongside its family of specialist businesses including fresh produce arm Pauleys, M&J Seafood and Wild Harvest.

"Brakes is a highly respected foodservice company and its business strengths will help us continue to offer Woodward's customers excellent products and service as well as providing new opportunities for our respective businesses in the future," said Jeremy Woodward, managing director of Woodward Foodservice.

Woodward Foodservice has reduced its losses from £33m to £14m over the past financial year and is expecting to make a loss of under £10m this year.

"I think it's a good deal for all parties," said Woodward Group chief executive officer Andrew Ramsden. "We have turned Woodward Foodservice around over the last year or so."