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Conviviality Retail buys Wine Rack for £1.65m

Published:  02 September, 2013

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality Retail has purchased Wine Rack for £1.65 million.

The franchised off-licence chain has purchased all 22 stores from Venus Wine and Spirit Merchants. The stores are predominantly in Greater London.

Conviviality, which listed on AIM at the end of July 2013, will now own 633 outlets.

The current Wine Rack business was acquired by its management in November 2009, since then it has expanded from 13 outlets to its current portfolio of 22 stores. In its audited accounts for the year ended March 31, 2013, Wine Rack generated revenues of £11.28 million.

Conviviality said in a statement that Susan McCraith MW will "continue to improve the proposition for both Wine Rack and Conviviality's loyal customer bases".

Conviviality's management plans to roll out further Wine Rack sites, both in the south and in other regions.

The existing store teams and Ron Booker, the regional operations manager, will remain with the Wine Rack business. Management intend to offer the opportunity to franchise the format in future and additional franchised stores will open using the Wine Rack brand "in due course".

Diana Hunter, chief executive of Conviviality Retail, said: "This acquisition accelerates our expansion into the wine market, provides the company with additional expertise that will benefit our franchisees and increases our footprint in the south of England, including added scale in the important London market. We are looking forward to welcoming the current store teams and Ron Booker to Conviviality, and taking the Wine Rack brand from strength to strength with their involvement.

"The combination of greater buying power for Wine Rack, and increased wine market expertise for Conviviality, make this acquisition a positive move for all concerned."

McCraith added: "The expansion of Wine Rack will see the much-needed rebirth of a good quality high street, off-licence chain offering a strong value proposition on wines, beers and spirits based on the buying power of the Conviviality Group. At the same time over 600 Conviviality franchisees and their customers will benefit from an expanded and more premium wine range, ultimately offering more consumer choice. It's an exciting development - not just for us - but also for the UK off-trade."

Laki Christoforou, chairman of Venus Wine and Spirit Merchants, said: "Venus is looking forward to continuing its long established relationship with Wine Rack supplying its specialist wine ranges and to working with the team at Conviviality to constantly improve its offer for customers."