A.F. Blakemore & Son has bought fellow Spar UK wholesaler Capper & Co. to create a bigger business to supply the symbol retailer’s convenience stores in the country.

The deal, announced today (24 March) for an disclosed sum, follows Capper & Co.’s admission last month that it was in talks to sell the business, although it did not say with which companies it was holding negotiations.

A.F. Blakemore, already the largest Spar wholesaler in the UK, said the transaction will create a business with a combined turnover of GBP1.1bn (US$1.7bn).

Under the plans, Capper & Co. will trade as a separate division of A.F. Blakemore. Capper & Co. chairman Bill Capper and MD Robert Upton will also join the A.F. Blakemore board of directors.

A.F. Blakemore group managing director Peter Blakemore said: “A.F. Blakemore and Capper & Co are similar companies that already have a shared history and a common set of values. The two businesses currently operate in regions adjacent to each other and this will allow for many benefits to be realised, particularly in areas of trading and distribution. The Spar organisation has been built upon the ethos of working together to achieve mutual benefit and this news represents a natural progression of this approach.”

According to Companies House, Capper & Co. recorded a 36% drop in net profit to GBP1.2m for the year to the end of April 2010.

Capper & Co. services 432 stores and covers an area from South Wales through to Gloucester, Oxfordshire, Sussex, Kent to south of the River Thames.
A.F. Blakemore is a family-owned food and drink retail, wholesale and distribution business, with 215 Tates retail stores, its Spar distribution arm servicing 664 Spar stores, a logistics division which supports both its Spar and wholesale business, 10 Blakemore Wholesale cash and carry outlets, a food service division, and a shopfitting service.