Appleby Westward, the regional distribution company servicing Spar convenience stores in the South West, has bought the forecourt and c-store group Denovo Retail for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition of Southampton-based Denovo will add 15 convenience stores and two forecourt shops to Appleby Westward’s portfolio of company-owned Spar stores, taking the total to 88.

Mike Boardman, managing director of Appleby Westward, said: “This is a very exciting acquisition for us which strengthens both our wholesale and retail businesses quickly with more than £20m additional annual retail turnover and nearly £4m Texaco-branded fuel. It is good news all round for our supply base and retailers.”

As part of the acquisition of Denovo, its two directors Tony Start and Steve Wilkinson will join Appleby Westward in a new business venture to drive store acquisitions throughout the south west.

This will see the launch of a new business, Wessex Retail, with Start and Wilkinson spearheading the venture as directors and shareholders.

“Both Tony and Steve are well known figures in the convenience market and bring a wealth of knowledge in identifying sites and acquiring businesses,” said Mike.

“We are delighted that they have chosen to partner with Spar. In the discussions we have had with them it’s clear that our strong own label range, high service levels and ability to add value to stores were key considerations in their decision to work with us.”

Start said: “We are looking forward to getting out into the trade in the South West and acquiring stores. Appleby Westward and Spar are the best in convenience in the region for product range, the overall support they are able to offer retailers and their excellent reputation for consistently high service levels.”

Boardman added: “Partnering independent retailers remains the most important element of our business and we will continue to invest in this area aiming to build our customer numbers in the year ahead. We also have strong investment plans with our own retail estate, and the acquisition of Denovo and launch of Wessex Retail gives us a great platform for future growth as we move into the 2020s.”