Outgoing Musgrave GB managing director Peter Ridler insists the recent Booker acquisition has not influenced his decision to leave the company.

peter ridlerMr Ridler, who has been in the position since April 2014, is set to take on the role of international director at clothing retailer White Stuff.

He will be replaced by former head of Booker Direct, Mark Aylwin, who has previously worked as supply chain and IT director at Musgrave.

The move comes less than two months after Musgrave was acquired by Booker in a £40m deal, which is still subject to approval by the Competition and Markets Authority.

Asked whether the Booker deal had affected his decision, Mr Ridler said: “No, not at all. I believe the acquisition of the GB business by Booker is the right move and it will be beneficial to both the brands and our respective partners.”

He added: “My decision to leave is purely personal, I wanted to go back into fashion and work in the international market and this feels like the right role for me at this time.”

Mr Aylwin will take up his new role on 17 August, at which point he will commence a handover period with Mr Ridler, according to Musgrave.

Chris Martin, chief executive of Musgrave Group, said: “We are delighted to appoint Mark as managing director of our business in Great Britain and welcome him back to Musgrave.

“He has a wealth of experience and his food franchising knowledge means that he is ideally placed to develop the Budgens and Londis brands together with our retail partners.”

During his time at Musgrave, Mr Ridler has been responsible for leading a turnaround programme in a bid to address ongoing operating losses at the company.

This included restructuring Musgrave’s head office team, cutting ties with hundreds of under-performing stores, and creating separate retail teams and price files for its Londis and Budgens symbol groups.

Mr Martin thanked Mr Ridler for his contribution to the business, adding: “Peter has led the business, put together a new team and demonstrated a real commitment to the Londis and Budgens brands.”