The boards of NBG and H&B buying groups have announced that they are in discussions regarding a potential merger of the two organisations. The final decision on the merger will be made following consultation with the membership of both groups and formal votes.
The proposals have been the subject of industry rumour and speculation for some time and news of the formal announcement of the discussions broke during the recent NMBS Exhibition. The consultation period with members of the two groups is expected to last into the summer.
NBG was formed in 2003, following the merger of three separate buying groups — the Scottish Independent Merchants Buying Association (SIMBA), the Chandor Consortium (South of England), and the Prospero Consortium (North and Central England, and Wales). At the time, the three groups were running independently of each other but shared many synergies, and so joined forces to create NBG.
In January 2008, NBG was registered as a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). This structure means that every (merchant) Partner has an equal voice, supporting a “culture of unity and openness”. A ‘not for profit’ organisation, with all residual proceeds being distributed to its Partners each year, NBG comprises 82 merchants who collectively own nearly 300 outlets across the UK and deliver £850m of end user sales.
H&B Buying Group LLP (H&B) was founded in 1997 and enjoys strong commitment from all its members, large and small, to over 400 supply agreements. Collective sales for the 80+ merchant members of the group are in excess of £400m.