Today’s Group and Landmark propose merger
Planned buying group union to “ensure sustainable and future success”
Two of the industry’s biggest hitters are set to become one if plans for a merger between Today’s Group and Landmark Wholesale are approved.
The buying groups’ boards have unanimously agreed to take a proposal to merge to a wider voting process that will seek to get the deal rubber-stamped by their members.
If approved, Today’s and Landmark will form a new company called Unitas Wholesale Ltd, with the business aiming to create a larger, more effective and efficient group that is dedicated to supporting independent wholesalers, which supply thousands of independent retailers and small businesses in the UK.
Unitas was chosen as the name to signify the principle and desire to work together, focused on common goals and identifying ways where all parties can win, while enhancing scale, relevance and capability to position itself as the sustainable wholesale business partner for its supplier base.
“We believe that this consolidation is narrowing the options for suppliers and potentially threatening the future of independent businesses as multiple chains expand into the wholesale channel,” said Today’s Managing Director Darren Goldney.
“This merger acts to ensure the sustainable and future success of our members, many of whom have a multi-generation legacy of service to independent businesses, be they convenience stores, catering outlets or many of the other businesses we serve.
“This is a tremendous opportunity which will step change the platform upon which independent business and their supplier partners can thrive. Unitas will create a new and exciting opportunity for suppliers, independent wholesalers and the thousands of independent businesses that we collectively serve.”
The next stage the proposal must pass is the members’ vote, which closes on 6 September 2018, with current 2018 joint business agreements between the two groups and suppliers remaining on place until the end of the calendar year.
Unitas’s new trading team will commence discussions with suppliers regarding 2019 terms from November, with operational alignment throughout the year via a process of integration.
John Mills, Managing Director of Landmark Wholesale added: “As member-owned organisations and in line with the principles of ‘every business matters, no matter how big or small’, the two groups will decide whether to progress with the proposed merger via a full membership vote process by 6 September 2018.
“Following this date, we will enter into a period of consultation and selection with the management and staff of both groups to create the structure to support Unitas Wholesale. We would expect the transaction to formally complete by November 2018.”