Wholesalers have ramped up their defence of independent retailers with the appointment of top London legal firm Macfarlanes to fight their case against Tesco’s acquisition of Adminstore.

The Federation of Wholesale Distributors is to ask the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) to refer back to the Office of Fair Trading its decision to approve the acquisition.

The FWD’s appeal is the first from the food industry under the Act. The association has been leading the charge against the multiples’ moves into the convenience sector and is the only association seeking to block the Adminstore acquisition.

Chairman Rodney Hunt said it would continue to fight vociferously against the “serious threat”. In an attack on the OFT at this week’s annual conference, he said he did not share the view that the acquisition was inevitable.

Further details in this week’s issue of The Grocer magazine.