Friday, September 22, 2023

One of the UK’s largest food wholesalers acquired by investment firm

London-based investment firm RDCP Group has acquired SOS Wholesale, one of the largest food wholesalers in the UK for an undisclosed sum.

RDCP has acquired Derby-based SOS Wholesale, a family run business founded in 1996 by Norman Beckett and his two sons Mark and Steven.

The business is one of the UK’s largest wholesalers of foods and beverages, employing 120 staff from its 70,000 sq ft warehouse and distribution centre in Derby and sales office in Barnsley. Its product range extends across 4,500 lines, selling top brands including Mars Bars, Walkers Crisps, Heinz, Nescafe, Colgate, and Fairy, delivering its products range in the UK, and exporting worldwide.

The existing management team led by Mark Beckett and Vipin Patara will work closely with RDCP founders, Sameer Rizvi and Iryna Dubylovska, on SOS Wholesale’s future growth strategy.

This latest deal is RDCP’s eighth acquisition in the last 18 months, following its most recent takeover of Intelling in October 2021. RDCP now controls $400 million of investments across multiple sectors in the UK.

Sameer Rizvi, founder & CEO of RDCP Group, said: “This is a major milestone for us at RDCP because the four acquisitions we completed last year combined with the organic growth of our existing portfolio companies has increased RDCP Group’s assets under management to $400 million.

“We were extremely impressed by SOS Wholesale and their track record of success and varied customer base which includes major national retailers as well as independents. We look forward to working closely with Mark, Vipin and their team to grow the business further and have plans to expand SOS Wholesale both organically via increased sales channels, but also by bringing bolt-on acquisitions of smaller competitors.”

Iryna Dubylovska, founder & chief strategy officer of RDCP Group, said: “This acquisition reflects our strong appetite to expand our presence across different sectors and I could not be prouder of our team and our advisors.

“We have ambitious plans to grow our assets under management to $1 billion by 2025 and will continue to invest our growing balance sheet capital into promising British businesses that have a consistent and profitable trading history, committed and ambitious management teams and a defendable and dominant market position within their respective sectors.”

Mark Beckett, Managing Director of SOS Wholesale, said: “Steven and I are proud to be a part of one of the UK’s fastest growing private conglomerates, RDCP Group. I am looking forward to continuing to work with Vipin Patara and our management team to grow the business further, whilst retaining the family values that have made us what we are today.

“It is very much business as usual for our staff, customers and suppliers. We have worked hard to build an excellent reputation of delivering exceptional service and this will continue to be a focus for SOS Wholesale moving forward.”

Vipin Patara, trading director of SOS Wholesale, said: “Over the past five years working with Mark and Steven, their passion and drive to grow the business has been contagious. It is a testimony to both Mark, Steven, and the SOS team to where the business has grown to today.

“The future potential is exciting for both organic growth as well as new opportunities. I am really looking forward to working collaboratively with Sameer, Iryna, Mark and the entire SOS team to take SOS Wholesale to the next level.”

Roy Farmer, corporate finance partner at Dains, added: “Having built a very successful business over the past 20 years, Mark and Steven decided approximately two years ago to create a succession plan in order to facilitate their retirement. Their goal was to realise the value that they had created to date and to ensure that the business was left in the hands of a buyer who would continue to further develop the business.

“We worked closely with Mark and Steven to develop their exit plan, and as part of this process spent a considerable amount of time identifying an appropriate purchaser. Having received strong interest in the SOS Wholesale business from both trade and financial investors alike, we were attracted to RDCP as a buyer for a number of reasons.

“RDCP’s model of being longer-term investors in businesses, backing strong incumbent management teams and retaining the stability and culture that is embedded within a business made them stand out from the more traditional private equity model, and we quickly realised the benefits of choosing RDCP as the long-term investor in SOS Wholesale.

“I am delighted with the outcome we have achieved for Mark and Steven, which allows Steven to retire immediately and Mark to work alongside Vipin for a period of time. I am confident that SOS Wholesale, under the leadership of Mark and Vipin and the ownership of RDCP, will go from strength to strength.”

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