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Spirits agency Mangrove forms separate company as growth accelerates

Published:  19 February, 2014

Spirits agency Mangrove has formed a separate company within the Coe Group to allow it to grow more quickly.

Although now a wholly separate business, Mangrove Global remains part of the Coe Group which comprises Coe Vintners, Barwell & Jones and a number of interests in the Middle East. The firm's managing director Nick Gillett is a joint shareholder along with John Coe in the new business.

The company is experiencing strong growth, and has ambitious targets for the future, hoping to target the multiple off-trade with some of its mainstream brands. It expects to hit £7.5 million turnover for this financial year, up from £5 to 6million last year. It is targeting £10 to 10.5 million for the following year.

Gillett told he anticipates adding at least four new members of staff before the year is out, tapping into key growth areas such as Scotland, where he says Glasgow's on-trade is leading the charge. In addition the company will focus on seeding in new brands including Brown Forman's Old Forester - it is the first company outside of the US to handle the product. It will also be adding niche Chinese liquor Moutai and Peru's Pisco Portón to its portfolio.

Gillett said there was a big gap in its list for whisky, particularly Scotch. "We've got a relatively full portfolio," said Gillett, "we're not looking to pick up a huge number of brands." But he did say there could be room for adding more premium or more entry-level variants in some of its categories.  

On the topic of its separation from Coe, Gillett said the move would allow the firm to look to run projects with brand owners and customers that it previously would not have done. In addition, he said: "While Coe's is a significant customer, we also have other significant customers and this move reinforces our separate identity."

Mangrove now has its own systems and procedures in place, and rents office space from Coe's. It has 16 members of its own staff although it does share some back office functions with the group.

It will no longer share Coe's distribution network and has signed a distribution agreement with London City Bond on that front.

"We will be embracing technology at a much faster rate than the main business," added Gillett.

Prior to the change, Mangrove was a fully autonomous division within the Coe Group, while Gillett was commercial director across the group.