Bestway hinted at more acquisitions in January

Bestway has held talks with Scottish wholesaler Sher Bros over a possible acquisition.

Glasgow-based Sher Bros, which is a member of Landmark Wholesale, sells food, tobacco and household products to retailers and caterers.

It is currently enjoying strong trading, having reported a 14.2% increase in turnover to £43.3m for the year to 31 December 2012 in its latest available accounts. It also made a pre-tax profit of £63,158 during the period versus a loss of £287,691 the year before. Writing in the accounts, the directors said there was “a high degree of competition in the sector”.

If a deal did happen, it would be Bestway’s first since the buying spree in 2010 that boosted its presence in Scotland.

The wholesaler acquired Bellevue Cash & Carry in June 2010 and five months later snapped up Martex Cash & Carry. Both deals were for an undisclosed sum.

One source told The Grocer that a deal with Sher Bros was close to completion, but this was denied by Bestway.

“We are always looking at opportunities to develop and expand the business and there were talks with Sher,” a Bestway spokesman said. “However, there is no truth in the suggestion that an acquisition is close.”

This January, Bestway managing director Younus Sheikh said the wholesaler wanted to grow its business in 2013 by “acquiring other wholesalers”.

Its wholesale business reported a 3.3% dip in pre-tax profits to £58.2m on sales up 5.7% to £2.3bn in the year to 30 June 2012.