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Bargain Booze and Wine Rack operator in talks to take over Matthew Clark

Published:  09 July, 2015

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality Retail has suspended trading in its shares amid media speculation that it is in talks to buy the specialist on-trade drinks wholesaler Matthew Clark.

In a statement to the City the company said that it "confirms that, following media speculation, it is participating in a managed sale process in respect of Matthew Clark (Holdings) Ltd which, if successful, would constitute a reverse takeover under the Alternative Investment Market rules.

"The company's shares will, therefore, be suspended from trading immediately and remain suspended until either of these discussions have ceased or an AIM admission document has been published.

"The company will update shareholders with further information as appropriate."

Conviviality operates Bargain Booze, Bargain Booze Select Convenience, Wine Rack, BB's Warehouse, Thorougoods and Bargain B's franchised and managed stores.

Matthew Clark is owned by Accolade Wines subsidiary Hertford Cellars and the pub chain Punch Taverns.

Press reports suggested the price would be around £200 million.

Matthew Clark made pre-tax profit of £17 million on turnover of £811.1 million in the year to February 28.

Conviviality is scheduled to announce its preliminary results next Monday.