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PLB buys L&T

Published:  23 July, 2008

PLB Group, the own-label wine specialist, has bought wine company Lane & Tatham for an undisclosed sum.
East Sussex-based PLB - which has tried hard in recent years to increase its presence in the branded-wine sector - now moves into fine wines for the first time. Lane & Tatham will continue to run as a separate business, operating as the fine-wine subsidiary of the company.

Lane & Tatham's founders, Robin Lane and Nick Tatham MW, will continue to run the business from its base in Wiltshire (with PLB taking over some of the logistics at head office) but with no shareholding in the joint company.

According to John Smith, managing director of PLB, the decision to buy Lane & Tatham was driven by continuing consolidation in the sector.

We've been looking for some time to make an acquisition and buy a company that sells wine at higher prices. Although PLB has a very strong presence at the low and medium price points, we decided we needed a presence in the higher end

of the market.

We've seen a lot of consolidation of our customers - mainly in the multiples sector, but also elsewhere - and people are looking to rationalise their suppliers. This move means we can offer a better and wider selection of wines.

Our portfolios are complementary, and in the few places where they do overlap, then the wines will appear in both of our portfolios. A couple of the top-end wines from some of the PLB suppliers can be introduced into Lane & Tatham's, for example.'

Smith added that PLB has not ruled out further acquisitions.

By Jack Hibberd