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Laithwaite's Wine launches business in Taiwan

Published:  28 January, 2014

Laithwaite's Wine has extended its Asian business with the launch of its Taiwanese arm, which will be run by its Hong Kong franchise partner.

Group chief executive Simon McMurtrie said: "We launched in Hong Kong in 2009 and have been pleased with our progress to date but since making the strategic decision to focus our core investment on the US, UK and Australia, we have been seeking a partner, capable both of expanding the existing Hong Kong business and also eager to expand our overall Asian presence.

"Simon Hsu is an immensely successful entrepreneur, based in Hong Kong. Simon has long held the ambition to develop a wine business in Asia. One of Simon Hsu's holdings is ecL, a logistics business which has managed customer fulfilment in Hong Kong, since our launch. That experience has given all parties the confidence that the ecL team have the necessary resource, commitment and investment to ensure long-term success in both markets.

McMurtrie said that Dan Tullberg, managing director of Laithwaite's Wine in Asia, is being seconded to Simon Hsu's team to "facilitate a smooth launch of the Taiwanese business" as well as plot continued growth of the Hong Kong business, and identify opportunities for expansion. The Asian business reports in to Rachel Robinson, Asia Pacific chief executive.

Simon Hsu said: "Over the next few years, there is enormous potential to grow a customer-centric wine business in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and, hopefully, other Asian markets.  Working with the Laithwaite's team has got off to a great start and we are excited about the road ahead.

"Every year, Asian markets are becoming more sophisticated in their appreciation for tasting and drinking wine.  We are looking forward to playing a role in accelerating that trend."

Laithwaite's was founded in 1969 by Tony Laithwaite. It is part of Direct Wines which remains a family-owned wine merchant with a turnover of £350 million.