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Restaurateur Marlon Abela buys into wine merchant OW Loeb

Published:  08 December, 2014

High profile restaurateur Marlon Abela has taken a majority ownership interest in wine merchant OW Loeb.

MArlon AbelaMarlon Abela takes a majority interest in OW LoebAbela, a high profile restaurateur, has long had an interest in wines, and already runs MARC Fine Wines, which will be run separately, at least initially, from OW Loeb.

Abela, whose restaurant group MARC owns London's two Michelin-starred the Greenhouse and Umu, which has one Michaelin star. It also owns Morton's Private Members' Club in London, A Voce restaurants in New York, Morello Bistro in Connecticut, Bistro du Midi in Boston and the François Payard bakeries.

The group already owns MARC Fine Wines, which holds 120,000 bottles of fine wine in stock.

OW Loeb is known for specialising in Burgundy, Rhône and German wines. The company says it will continue to  build on its wine portfolio and customer base.  Along with the rest of the team, existing chairman Chris Davey and sales director Brough Gurney-Randall will continue in their posts with Patrick Headlam from MARC Fine Wines joining as managing director. MARC Fine Wines and OW Loeb will continue to be run as separate companies but MARC Fine Wines will relocated to share OW Loeb's Bermondsey offices .

OW Loeb was established in 1874 by Sigmund Loeb in the Mosel, Germany, and then in London in 1938 by son Otto.

Abela's father ran the Albert Abela Corporation, a catering firm with a major focus on in-flight meals for airlines, but which also had an interest in fine dining with a number of five-star hotels also in its portfolio. It employed more thatn 30,000 people in 40 countries, and had sales of $1.2 billion in 2000. Marlon Abela became executive vice president of the business in his early twenties, before the family sold it in 2002 after his father's death, for £360 million.