The UK’s largest independent cash and carry operator Bestway Group has bought Conviviality Retail for £7.5m.

Conviviality Retail includes Bargain Booze, Wine Rack, Select Convenience and WS Retail.

Zameer Choudrey CBE, chief executive at Bestway Group, said: “We feel this acquisition represents a great fit for both Bestway Wholesale and Conviviality’s retail base.

“This deal provides much-needed certainty to these stores and our priority will be to stabilise the supply of stock into these businesses. These retailers can get back to business as usual, with the confidence of having the support of the UK’s largest independent wholesaler.”

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On 4 April, the other half of Conviviality, Conviviality Direct, was purchased by C&C Group with financial support from Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev.

Like the acquisition of Conviviality Direct, the deal for Conviviality Retail was completed through a pre-pack administration process. This means the buyer was arranged before administrators were appointed and therefore it can cherry-pick the best assets of a business at a reduced price.

Bestway Group owner and chair Sir Anwar Pervez said: “We are also pleased that as a result of the deal we have been able to provide job security to over 2,300 colleagues, who have incredible expertise and experience that will truly be a great asset to our combined business.

“By stepping in we have also ensured the franchisee stores get the support they need and deserve to grow their businesses, as well as continuing to provide choice for shoppers on the high street.”

Conviviality Retail is a franchised off-licence and convenience store chain comprised of 370 companies with more than 700 outlets. Bestway has promised ‘business as usual’ at all stores.

Bestway is primarily a food wholesaler, but it also owns the Well pharmacy chain. It has businesses in the UK and abroad with a total 33,000 employees and an annual turnover of £3.3bn. The company serves 125,000 independent retailers and caterers from 63 warehouses across the UK.

Bestway Group subsidiary Bestway Wholesale trading director Dawood Pervez said: “The purchase of these four businesses will further strengthen our position within the convenience retail sector.

“We provide our suppliers with a safe and credible trading partner that will provide access to a vastly increased, and the most disciplined, route to market in the independent convenience sector.”

Conviviality filed for administration in March 2018 following a profit warning and the discovery of a £30m unpaid tax bill, which caused the resignation of CEO Diana Hunter and the company to stop trading on the London Stock Exchange. The company failed to persuade its investors to help it raise the £125m necessary to save the business.