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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Jack Hibberd

Bottle Green, the Leeds-based brand owner and distributor, was sold to Irish group DCC for 13.1 million this week - making Jerry Lockspeiser, the company's founder, a multi-millionaire. The sale, which works out at 8.4 million when Bottle Green's cash balance is taken into account, was described as a win-win' situation by Lockspeiser, who will carry on as the company's MD for at least three years before considering his options. This is the best deal we could have made to ensure the business continues to grow in the future. I didn't want to sell to venture capitalists or somebody who would strip the assets, as I've put a lot of time and energy into building up Bottle Green since it was founded in 1990. DCC Food & Beverage is pretty hands-off and our previous growth strategy remains in place, as do all staff, but we now benefit from being part of a larger group.' DCC has interests in a number of sectors, including energy, IT, healthcare and supply chain management - and made an operating profit of e120 million on sales of more than e2 billion last year. It also owns the Irish-based drinks distribution business Woodforde Bourne. Its food and beverage arm is one of the smaller parts of the business, although it has been earmarked for growth. The company's chief executive, Jim Flavin, hasn't ruled out further acquisitions in the sector. Flavin added: The acquisition of Bottle Green provides an excellent opportunity for DCC Food & Beverage to build on the market out-performance of its Irish wine business by expanding into the more substantial and growing UK wine market.' The managing director of DCC Food and Beverage is Frank Fenn, former chief executive of Baileys Irish Cream.