Kitwave, N Shields wholesaler, buys Total Foodservice

Shares of Kitwave, the North Shields-based wholesaler that went public in 2021, touched a record high after it announced the acquisition of Total Foodservice Solutions Limited for £21 million in cash.

“Established over 130 years ago, Total Foodservice delivers wholesale catering supplies of around 4,000 product lines including chilled, frozen and ambient food, non-food and cleaning products,” said Kitwave.

“Total Foodservice’s depots are located in Clitheroe, Lancashire and Huddersfield, Yorkshire with customers including licensed trade and restaurants, coffee shops and sandwich bars, schools and universities and the care industry across the North of England.”

Kitwave share rose as much as 7% to around £3.80 in late morning trading to give the North Shields firm a stock market value of around £260 million. Kitwave joined the stock market in May 2021 at about £1.50 a share.

Total Foodservice reported an audited turnover of £25.4 million, profit before tax of £2 million and balance sheet net assets of £8.5 million for the financial year ended April 30, 2023.

“The acquired balance sheet includes c.£4.0 million of cash and freehold property with a book value of £2.1 million,” said Kitwave .

“The net cash outflow from the group as a result of the consideration payable and the cash acquired is c.£17.0 million. The board believes that the acquisition will be immediately earnings enhancing after adding back costs relating to the transaction.

The acquisition will be incorporated into Kitwave’s existing Foodservice division which currently comprises the trading operations of David Miller Frozen Foods Limited, M. J. Baker Foodservice Limited, Westcountry Food Holdings Limited and H.B. Clark & Co. (Successors) Limited.”

Kitwave CEO Ben Maxted said: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Total Foodservice, which is a one-stop shop for wholesale commercial catering supplies and enables us to further expand our product range offering across the North of England and in particular Yorkshire and the North West, complementing our existing foodservice offering.

“Total Foodservice is a well-established business in the catering industry and we look forward to welcoming its team to Kitwave and integrating the business into our Foodservice division.

“This acquisition is in line with Kitwave’s growth strategy, and we will continue to seek to identify further opportunities in the UK’s highly fragmented wholesale market to deliver further value to the Group and its shareholders.