JW FILSHILL has ramped up its presence in the Scottish on-trade by snapping up family-owned Lawrence McQueen Wine & Spirits Merchants, one of its long-standing suppliers.

Glasgow-based Filshill, which supplies 163 Keystore convenience retail outlets in Scotland and the north of England, said the move was in line with plans to diversify its business.

It did not disclose the value of the deal, but said it showed the opportunities open to companies of its size in the on-trade, following recent consolidation among bigger players.

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This was illustrated by Inverarity Morton's acquisition of Forth Wines in October, which came after it was created by the merger of William Morton and Inverarity Vaults in 2011.

Managing director Simon Hannah said: "This acquisition will provide us with a platform to further enhance our positioning within the on-trade.

"We are keen to diversify our business into complementary areas and see this as an opportunity to utilise our expertise and logistics network to grow our existing on-trade business."

Largs-based Lawrence McQueen was established by the late father of current owner, Lawrence McQueen, who plans to retire after working with Filshill on the transition.

Mr McQueen said: "The business was founded by my late father so it was a difficult decision to make.

"But with the trade changing at such a pace, the chance to sell the business to another family concern I have worked with for many years, and have the greatest respect for, presented an ideal opportunity for me to hand over the reins."