Landmark Wholesale and Today’s Group are to merge following the approval of both companies members.

A vote by the wholesalers that made up both companies was held on 6 September and 96% of those members that did vote did so in favour of the merger.

The new single entity will be called Unitas Wholesale and will represent 182 wholesalers with combined sales of approximately £9bn.

John Mills and Darren Goldney, the managing directors of Landmark and Today’s respectively, released a statement explaining how Unitas will change the grocery supply chain for retailers and foodservice providers. It read: “Through enhanced scale, relevance and capability, Unitas Wholesale will be the sustainable wholesale business partner for its supplier base, creating an alternative route to market in the face of the consolidation that is taking place within the wholesale sector.”

The two companies will officially begin joint trading on 31 October. Trading agreements with suppliers will remain in place until the end of 2018, but Unitas said it will begin negotiating different terms for 2019 in November.

Further wholesalers and suppliers including Nestlé, KP Snacks and Boost Drinks came out in favour of the deal in the final days before the vote.

James Russell, managing director of AF Blakemore, said the deal would improve terms and help them to increase their own-label ranges. Dee Bee Wholesale’s managing director, Nick Ramsden, said it would make the members “bigger and better”.

Both Landmark and Today’s had previously pledged that the deal will not lead to changes or mergers to the existing symbol groups managed by both buying groups.

Read more: Retailers react to news of Landmark & Today's merger plans