The UK’s Big Food Group has said it has withdrawn from the race for food distributor Londis, having reviewed the documentation, including the annual report and accounts, issued by the board of Londis in connection with the offer by Musgrave.

“This raises a number of questions concerning the on-going level of the company’s profitability and financial condition, both of which seem to understate the company’s potential,” BFG said.

In addition, BFG said it is aware of a considerable body of opinion among Londis retailers that they would prefer Londis to remain independent.

“Consequently, in the absence of better financial information and given shareholders’ views, the board of BFG has concluded that it is not appropriate for BFG to pursue the acquisition of Londis at this time. If, however, the offer by Musgrave should fail and Londis remain independent, BFG would be interested in furthering its trading relationship with Londis to the mutual benefit of itself and the community of Londis retailers. BFG remains convinced that it can offer Londis retailers superior trading support to that on offer from Musgrave,” the company added.