BWG back under Irish control

THE €390 million management buyout of food retail and distribution group BWG was formally completed yesterday, bringing the company back under Irish ownership.

The new owner, Triode Investments, is controlled by three of BWG’s executive directors — group chief executive Leo Crawford; group property director John Clohisey, and group finance director John O’Donnell.

The move is likely to herald an expansion of the Spar and Mace convenience store brands around the country.

“The group is in a strong position to benefit from the continued growth in the convenience food sector which is being supported by positive trends in population and demographics, as well as lifestyle-led changes in consumer shopping behaviours,” said Mr Crawford yesterday.

“We will intensify our focus on innovation-led growth by enhancing our overall food offering and expanding our nationwide network of retail outlets.

“We’re very pleased to have completed the buyout of BWG and are delighted to be in a position to lead the group going forward as owner-managers and to support its continued growth and expansion,” he said.

John Clohisey, BWG’s property director, added: “I’m delighted to be part of the team that has brought BWG back under Irish control and look forward to contributing to the continued development of our retail property portfolio as we embark on our next phase of growth.”

BWG has an annual turnover of around €1.2 billion and operates a network of more than 900 convenience stores across Ireland and Britain.

The completion of the deal also ties-in with a number of management changes. Peter Murray, the former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, has joined as chairman of the board.

Meanwhile, Peter Kealy has been appointed managing director of BWG’s retail division.

Conor Whelan has stepped down from his position as managing director of the group’s retail food distribution subsidiary, BWG Foods, in order to pursue other career interests.

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