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Morelli Group quits NIBS network

The Morelli Group has terminated its links with the NIBS bodyshop supply organization.

The news comes amid an ongoing investigation into NIBS, a major paint and consumables distributor, by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) over allegations of unfair business practice.

NIBS issued a statement saying it would fully co-operate with the investigation and says that it “is confident of a swift, fair and positive outcome”.

It adds that the Morelli Group’s decision to leave its organization is a “positive ending to a degree of uncertainty caused in NIBS’s view by Morelli”.

In May, AM reported that NIBS’s Long Hamborough offices had been raided and that investigations would begin if the OFT felt that the company’s contract arrangements were preventing effective competition in the sector.

At the time the Morelli Group was advised that “current NIBS trading arrangements are unlawful”, which prompted it to cease its trading relationship with NIBS and its members. NIBS’s website has also been off-line for three months “while the server is upgraded”.

Meanwhile, NIBS has added four distributors to its network bringing the total to 15. Waregrain Limited, a long standing NIBS member has opened its third branch in Welwyn Garden City, Herts.

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