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Palmer & Harvey (P&H) has bought Somerset-based Key Lekkerland wholesaler T&A Symonds.

Symonds delivers to more than 600 customers in the West Country, including 75 Key Stores, 500 other independent retailers, 90 Smile stores and Key Lekkerland multiple accounts, from its depot in Yeovil.

The Yeovil warehouse will be incorporated into the Palmer & Harvey network and Symonds’ workforce, sales teams, and most of the senior management will join P&H.

Symonds' managing director Alan Symonds will remain with the business for the next nine months to assist with the integration process, and the Smile retail business, which is not part of the transaction, will continue under Symonds family ownership with the head office remaining at Yeovil. P&H has confirmed it will continue to honour Key Lekkerland distribution contracts in the region.

The Symonds business has been sold once before, to BWG, before Alan Symonds brought the company back into family ownership. He commented: “Palmer & Harvey are ideally positioned to build on the customer franchise I and my management team have developed over the last 40 years and take it to the next stage by offering retailers solutions only available through a business of Palmer & Harvey’s scale, especially where convenience store retailers are expanding into ranges such as chilled and fresh foods.”

Chris Etherington, Chief Executive of Palmer and Harvey, added: “This acquisition is in line with our strategy to be the leading provider of innovative solutions to our partners in the retail market and I am delighted to be purchasing such a well run, customer focused business with significant scope for further development.”

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