Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Chinese importer Summergate bought by Australia's Woolworths Liquor Company

Published:  02 December, 2014

Woolworths Liquor Group has bought Summergate, one of the China's most influential wine importers, in a move that considerably strengthens the Australian retail drinks giant's position in the country.

Summergate, under the leadership of chief executive, Ian Ford, has become one of the most respected and trusted Chinese importer working with many international wine brands.

It is understood that as part of the deal Ford will remain in charge and join co-founder Brendan O'Toole on the company's board.

Ford said: "Brendan and I are both very proud that a company of the calibre of Woolworths Liquor Group has chosen to acquire our business."

He added: "I personally look forward to the years ahead continuing to lead and guide our fantastic group of people, striving to be the preferred partner to all stakeholders in the industry.'

The deal will also give Summergate's retail subsidiary, Pudao Wines the retail backing and experience of Woolworths as it is said to look to expand, particularly online, and through e-commerce retailing in China.

Ford has become a well-known figure in the international wine trade after his appearances at Wine Future in Hong Kong and last year's Wine Vision in London UK. He has spoken about the need for the Chinese wine market to mature and become more professional if it is to have a "healthy" future and that it was too often the victim of "short term profiteering by some wine importers.

He told last year's Wine Vision: "We are trying to build a wine culture in China, but it is really hard."