Wholesale arm of East End Foods back under founding family’s control

A Birmingham food company is back under the control of its founding family after a buyout deal.

The wholesale division of East End Foods has been acquired from its private equity owner by Jason Wouhra, his father Jas and immediate family.

The undisclosed deal includes two cash and carry sites in Aston and Smethwick.

East End Foods was founded by Jas Wouhra and his four brothers in Wolverhampton in 1972 but last year was sold to private equity firm Exponent.

The Wouhras will now trade the newly acquired company as East End Wholesale Stores, after proposals for the deal were first announced in February.

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The company sells a broad range of Indian products including soft and alcoholic drinks, tobacco, chocolates and snacks, serving independent retailers, restaurants, bars and casinos.

East End Foods, which manufactures ethnic food ingredients such as spices and lentils, will remain under the ownership of Exponent and continue operating from its plant in West Bromwich.

Mr Wouhra told BusinessLive: “I have always worked in the wholesale division of the family business and have been working for Exponent during the interim period to keep the depots running.

“I could see that the business had a great deal of opportunity and wasn’t necessarily core to Exponent’s interests.

“There is an opportunity to broaden the customer base – the food industry is a healthy one and we are a very old player in that sector.

“We know the business really well and we just want to grow it as far as we can.

“We’re very positive despite what’s been going on with covid-19, it’s been challenging but the opportunity is exceptional.”