Calder takes the helm at Tennent’s

By Gillian McKenzie

Wholesale boss takes over enlarged business following acquisition

Succession plan: Brian Calder and John Gilligan of Wallaces TCB.
Succession plan: Brian Calder and John Gilligan of Wallaces TCB.

THE former boss of wholesaler Wallaces Express has been appointed chief executive of Tennent Caledonian Breweries.
Brian Calder will move into the role from his current position as managing director of Wallaces TCB, which was formed following Tennent’s owner C&C Group’s full acquisition of the Wallaces Express business late last month – a year after it bought a 50% stake.
John Gilligan, managing director of Tennent Caledonian Breweries, plans to “wind down” over a period of time and will work with Calder until the transition period is complete.
C&C Group confirmed Calder’s appointment to head up the enlarged business last Friday (March 28) – ten days after C&C’s acquisition of the remaining 50% stake in Wallaces Express.
Speaking to SLTN, Calder, who has worked for Wallaces for 41 years, said he is “delighted” to have been appointed chief executive of TCB.
“It’s an exciting time, no doubt about it, and I’m looking forward to a new challenge,” he said. “John [Gilligan] has a lot to offer and he will stay in the business so we’ve got what is hopefully a smooth succession plan.”
The Wallaces TCB business will have some 400 staff and a customer base of 5500, which will be serviced by a 70-strong fleet; Wallaces has six depots (Irvine, Coatbridge, Dumfries, Lanark, Kintore and Inverness).
The range will extend to 3000 SKUs, 700 of which will be wine.
“This [deal] gives us a much broader product range,” said Calder.
“Wallaces has had a long relationship with Tennent’s; the two complement each other in a number of ways.
“Wallaces TCB is a one-stop offering for the on-trade from start to finish. We’re giving what we think is an unbeatable offer in terms of range, brands and service.
“This is a growth story; it’s not about synergies and cutting costs. The on-trade is a people business – people buy from people; it’s all about relationships.
“As for our customers, it’s business as usual.
“We will be working with a number of brand owners.
“As a wholesale business we’ve got to give our customers what they want.”
Gilligan, who has worked in the trade for 36 years and joined Tennent’s in 2011, taking up the role of MD the following year, said: “Wallaces and Tennent’s have a relationship going back more than 30 years and there are a lot of common cultures in the businesses.
“This is about two businesses coming together, it’s not about one swallowing the other up.
“We plan to grow the business further, finding more opportunities for cross-selling to our customers, particularly in wines and spirits and soft drinks.”