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Media Centre > News Releases > News Releases 2005 > Bank Raises A Glass After Signing-Up United Wholesale Grocers

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Bank Raises A Glass After Signing-Up United Wholesale Grocers

Clydesdale Bank is full of beans after acquiring the business of Glasgow-based United Wholesale Grocers.

The company, based in Flemington Street, Springburn, transferred after talking to the bank's corporate team for more than a year and looking at what some rival providers could offer.

United Wholesale Grocers (UWG) supplies food, drink and other products, such as tobacco, to customers including small shops and petrol stations.

It has now opened a working capital facility in the form of an overdraft worth £3.5m with Clydesdale, as well as switching its day-to-day banking to the organisation, based in St Vincent Place, Glasgow.

Clydesdale already had a relationship stretching back two years with UWG subsidiary Global Video Estates Ltd.

UWG's Graham Hough, said: "We decided to go with Clydesdale because we were impressed with the way they had managed the relationship with Global Video Estates, which involved them making a loan for property acquisition.

"We were also struck by the way their people conducted the conversations we had with them. They took the time and trouble to really understand our business and come up with proposed financial arrangements which met our needs exactly."     

Gordon Young, the manager who led the Clydesdale team in negotiations with UWG, said: "We're delighted to have acquired the company's business and look forward to supporting its future growth and development, by providing financial packages tailored to meet its own particular circumstances and needs."

UWG was founded 25 years ago by current managing director Mohammed Ramzan and his brother Mohammed Sarwar, who went on to make history when he was elected Britain's first Muslim MP by winning the Govan seat for Labour in 1997. He increased his majority in the 2001 election.

The brothers split the UWG business in 2002, Sarwar taking charge of UWS (United Wholesale Scotland), another cash and carry company, and Ramzan leading a firm retaining the previous name. The two companies now have no direct connection.

In its last full year, UWG had a turnover of around £44m and now employs about 75 people.


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