Tennent’s owner takes 50% stake in Wallaces Express

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TENNENT’S owner C&C Group has taken a 50 per cent stake in wine and spirit wholesaler Wallaces Express.

Irvine-based Wallaces will be run independently, delivering products from other drinks firms as well as C&C, which also brews Bulmers and Magners cider. Brian Calder, who took control of the company in 2002 after a career in the business, continues as managing director. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

He said: “This is a major development for Wallaces Express and represents a great opportunity for all our staff and customers. In terms of strategic aims and culture, the two businesses are well aligned and I am confident that both will continue to move forward to the benefit of the Scottish licensed trade.”

Wallaces was established in Ayr in 1875 as a retailer and evolved in the mid 1980s into a wholesaler to the on-trade.

David McCorquodale at KPMG, who advised Wallaces, said Calder had built up a business with six depots and about 6,000 customers across Scotland and Cumbria by concentrating on customer service.

He said: “From C&C’s point of view, it gets a tie up with a business with a good reputation and I’m sure management hope that some of those customers will start buying more C&C products. Brian gets a partner that’s going to help him grow the business and provides further scale.”

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