Retail veteran Wilson buys 10% of Menzies Distribution
Growing business: Menzies split from its parent group
Menzies Distribution has announced that food retailing veteran Charles Wilson has acquired a 10% stake in the company and joined the board as a non-executive director with immediate effect.
Mr Wilson retired earlier this year as CEO of Booker after 15 years at the helm, including after the company’s merger with Tesco in 2018.
His investment – the value was not disclosed – follows the appointment of former Asda CEO Andy Clarke as non-executive chairman.
In December 2020, Menzies sealed a transformational deal combining two of the UK’s major logistics businesses. It acquired Bibby Distribution from the 213-year old, family-owned Bibby Line Group, unlocking geographic potential for Menzies while adding 38 operating sites and a large, young fleet to the Menzies platform.
In September 2018 Endless, the private equity investor, acquired Menzies Distribution as part of the business’s separation from John Menzies PLC.
The newly independent company outlined at that time how it would develop the business through widening its service offering and geographical coverage.
Commenting on Mr Wilson’s appointment, Mr Clarke said: “Menzies is a great British brand and we are making excellent progress on our journey of growth and diversification.”
Stuart Reddish, national president of the Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN), said: “This is a hugely positive move. Charles has been a good friend of independent retailers and on behalf of the NFRN, I very much welcome his appointment to the Menzies board.
“Charles is extremely well respected within the independent retail sector and will bring with him a wealth of retail experience and expertise. At Booker, his ethos was always about the customer, seeing retailers as individuals rather than numbers.
“We hope he will bring some fresh thinking and a pro-active approach towards addressing the issues faced by independent news retailers.
“The NFRN now looks forward to working closely with Charles and with the rest of the Menzies board to ensure that the needs of our members are a high priority on the news wholesaler’s agenda.”