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Naked Wines sells Lay & Wheeler to Coterie for £11.3m

Published:  02 October, 2019

Naked Wines has sold Lay & Wheeler to Coterie for £11.3m.

The company said the deal represented another significant milestone following the sale of its retail and commercial business announced in August and would free up capital to pursue growth.

“We look forward to our future as a much simplified and growth orientated company continuing to focus on the huge opportunity ahead of us,” said chief executive Rowan Gormley.

"Following the disposal of Majestic Retail and Commercial, I am delighted that we have also secured an independent future for Lay & Wheeler and its employees.”

The deal will see Lay & Wheeler, which was acquired by Naked Wines PLC (then trading under Majestic PLC) in 2009, return to independent ownership.

In its latest annual results (posted in June), Lay & Wheeler reported sales up 22.7% to £14.9m and “significantly improved profitability” with £1.2m in adjusted EBITDA. Growth was largely attributed to an increased focus on developing the customer experience through improvements in the company’s e-commerce platform and range of wines.

The merchant said the sale was “positive for suppliers, staff and customers”, adding it was looking forward to building on its “historic successes with a renewed focus”.

Katy Keating, managing director, Lay & Wheeler said: “ “After 160 years, we are just getting started and I am delighted to share that, as of today, Lay & Wheeler is once more an independent fine wine merchant. Our new owners have recognised the rich heritage, which comes with our business and they are looking forward to helping support our next chapter as we work harder than ever to help you enjoy the finest of wines.”

Founded in 1854, Lay & Wheeler is one of the UK’s oldest wine merchants.