Bestway C&C boss Sir Anwar Pervez is believed to be furious at comments made to The Grocer by Competition Commission chairman Peter Freeman linking his wealth to the overall state of wholesaling.
The comments have prompted Bestway group chief executive Zameer Choudrey to complain to the commission. "It is quite clear Mr Freeman is not in possession of the full facts when he refers to Bestway C&C, the wealth of its chairman and the current state of the wholesale sector," said Choudrey.
In an exclusive interview with The Grocer two weeks ago, Freeman said: "He's in The Sunday Times Rich List. It doesn't suggest the industry is on its knees."
Freeman made the comments after the inquiry found "no evidence to suggest the financial viability of the wholesale sector was seriously under threat". Bestway Group has a profit margin of 4.3%, well above the industry average of 1.5%, but Choudrey said most of the group's profitability was derived from activities other than wholesaling such as banking, cement production and energy. "It is inappropriate to gauge the health of wholesaling by the performance of Bestway Group," added Choudrey.
He said Freeman's comment had undermined the efforts Bestway had made as part of the FWD's dealings with the commission.
A commission spokesman said it had referred to Sir Anwar in its provisional findings based on an interview with The Sunday Times in July in which he painted a positive picture of the sector.