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

Majestic sale confirmed

Published:  02 August, 2019

The sale of Majestic Wine to US private equity firm Fortress has been confirmed.

Fortress will pay £95 million for Majestic’s UK operations and its French arm, Celliers du Calais.

Joshua Lincoln, managing director of Majestic, said: “Majestic has been on the UK high street for almost 40 years, building a bank of affection for our bottles, people and stores.

“In March when it was announced Majestic may be closed, or rebranded, I received thousands of emails from concerned customers – with some incredible stories about our wines and people. It made finding a suitable buyer for the business crucial.

“We intend to be the leader in the UK retail revolution with a focus on experience, expertise and product. Over 1,000 roles and Majestic’s store network will remain. Majestic has grown through periods of dramatic change, I know we have the recipe to do it again.

“We want to keep investing in our stores, in our people and our product - everything you can feel, touch and sip. After all, you cannot taste wine online.”

A spokesman for Fortress said: “Majestic is a British institution, occupying a unique position as the nation’s largest wine retailer.

“It offers a seamless customer experience across multiple channels – physical retail, online, subscription and to the on-trade – and has a customer base which loves its stores, people, brand and – of course – wines.

“We are excited to work with management to grow the Majestic story.”

Majestic is to undertake a full range review overseen by buying and merchandising director, Robert Cooke, who joined the company recently from Tesco, where he was director of BWS.

Also in the pipeline is a refurbishment of its 200-strong store portfolio and a new opening in south east London.

Founded in 1998, Fortress was acquired by Japan’s Softbank Group in 2017. Majestic will be owned by an investment vehicle named CF Bacchus Holdings Ltd.

Majestic is also said to be finalising the sale of fine-wine arm Lay & Wheeler. It is likely to be acquired by a private equity house for some £10 million, Sky News has reported.

In a separate transaction, Majestic is to sell the freehold on its premises in Ealing to property developer A2Dominion for £5 million.