3663 First For Foodservice’s logistics arm has been split from the wholesale business by South African parent company Bidvest, creating a new company.

Bidvest Logistics took over deliveries on behalf of clients such as Burger King and Pizza Hut this month and its 350 lorries have ­already been rebranded.

The wholesale arm of the business will retain the name 3663 First For Foodservice.

The restructure follows the departure in March of Bidvest Europe CEO Fred Barnes, who was replaced by global Bidvest logistics boss Bernard Berson.

A spokeswoman for 3663 and Bidvest Logistics rejected suggestions the companies had been separated to enable them to be sold. The move was intended to generate greater awareness of the two parts of the business and allow staff to be dedicated to one business, she added.

“It will allow each company to adapt and grow faster according to the individual needs of our customers,” she claimed. Bidvest was committed to investing in both businesses, she added. “The change will not adversely affect any customers, who will benefit from an increased focus on solutions tailored to their requirements.”

The new structure is reminiscent of the two businesses that were merged to form 3663. Booker Foodservice bought contract distributor Holroyd Meek in 1995 before the combined company was transformed by its sale to Bidvest in 1999.

“More and more of the foodservice market is being done by contract distributors and this is probably a way of reacting,” said one wholesaler.