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SFW merges with Distillers Corp

Published:  23 July, 2008

Worst-kept secret in SA wine is out

Stellenbosch Farmers' Winery (SFW) and The Distillers Corporation have merged, as of 4 December 2000. The new company will be called Distell. The worst-kept secret in the South African wine industry was revealed as a possibility as early as April last year by Harpers (30/4/99), but the merger had been challenged recently by Seagram in the courts, on the grounds that the merged company would create an unfair monopoly. This was dismissed by a Cape court. Peter Beamish, managing director at Heyman, Barwell Jones, SFW's sole distributor in the UK now that Zonnebloem has been taken on, said distributors would be unaffected, and was happy with the deal: "It will increase our competitiveness in the UK market. We understand the merger will increase marketing funds. We see the merger very much as a positive." A spokesperson for Percy Fox, distributor of Distillers' brands Two Oceans and Durbanville Hills, said that the merger would not affect plans as it had a separate deal to build the brands in the UK.