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Bibby Retail Services Purchases Rhythm & Booze
24 April 2012

The Rhythm & Booze independent specialist off licence chain has been purchased by Bibby Retail Services(BRS) in a deal that safeguards hundreds of jobs.

Bibby Retail Services,the dedicated retail division of Bibby Line Group, who also own Costcutter Supermarkets, is committed to quickly restoring Rhythm & Booze back to its former glory, with ambitious growth plans that will see it develop further. This will include significantly expanding the wholesale side of the business and converting some of the sites into convenience stores.

Nick Ivel, Director of Bibby Retail Services and Chief Executive of Costcutter Supermarkets Group, said: "Rhythm & Booze is a very well respected business and one that we have long admired. Under the stewardship of Bibby Retail Services we are confident that we can quickly re-establish itsprominence and implement a robust business strategy that will lead to longer-term growth and expansion. We are committed to expanding our portfolio of company owned stores and this is an important deal that adds a significant number of new sites to the group."

The deal sees Bibby Retail Services purchasing all 68 stores from administrators Ernst & Young with 425 employees transferring with the business, includingManaging Director Martin Swaine who will retain his current position in the new company.

Nick Ivel added: "I am delighted that Martin is remaining with the business. He is hugely respected within Rhythm & Booze and the industry as a whole. His knowledge and skills will be invaluable, allowing for a smooth and quick integration into Bibby Retail Services. Thisdeal has secured 425 jobs and also ensures that the Rhythm & Booze brandsurvives, which is excellent news for suppliers and customers. We see huge potential for growth in this business, through the stabilisation of the current retail offer and via the expansion of the wholesale division,which we will achieve through continuing to work in partnership with our many valued suppliers."

Martin Swaine, founder of Rhythm & Booze, commented: "I am delighted that Bibby Retail Services has purchased the business and that the future of the brand and that of my loyal staff has been secured. Bibby Retail Services are committed to giving the business the support needed to revive its fortunes and I will be working closely with the new owners to ensure an effective integration of the business and to drive it forward into the future."

Rhythm & Booze was formed in 1993with the mission of being the 'best in town' for alcohol. Together with his father, the late Ronnie Swaine, Martin has grown the estate significantly with stores across Humberside, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. As testament to the excellent business it was named as 'Multiple Off-Licence of the Year' in February of this year.

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