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Hambledon takeover bid confirmed

Published:  08 November, 2023

The proposed acquisition of English sparkling wine brand Hambledon has been accepted by the company's shareholders, it was announced today (08/11/2023).

In September 2023, Berry Bros. & Rudd and Atlantis Wine Holdings, a member of the Symington Group, unveiled their intention to acquire the estate purchased by Ian Kellett in 1999.

According to the buyers, “The bid has reached 90% shareholder acceptance and has been declared 'unconditional', which triggers the mandatory purchase of the remaining shares, leading to a 100% acquisition.” The takeover is a 50/50 joint venture between the two businesses.

Lizzy Rudd, chair of Berry Bros. & Rudd, commented: “We are delighted to confirm this exciting joint venture with Symington Family Estates. Together, we are committed to sustainable viticulture and winemaking, and we believe that this business, which was the first commercial English vineyard of the modern era, has the foundations and potential to lead the way in the English sparkling wine category.

We are two family businesses who have worked together and been friends for many years. We share the same values and ethos and are delighted to be partnering to bring stability and growth to this business at a very exciting time for English sparkling wine.”

Today Hambledon produces wine from 200 acres of vineyards; it is one of a few English producers with the capacity to produce more than 500,000 bottles per year of estate-grown sparkling wines.

It was going to take something very special for us to make wine in a new country, having produced port and wine in Portugal for five generations. Following lengthy analysis of the English sparkling wine category we are thrilled to be acquiring one of the leading producers in partnership with Berry Bros. & Rudd,” said Johnny Symington, chair of Symington Family Estates.

The quality of the wines is absolutely spectacular and is a reflection of the fantastic Hambledon terroir – with classic Champagne varieties planted exclusively on chalk soils and an extremely favourable microclimate situated in Hampshire close to the English Channel. We believe that these are world-class sparkling wines that will play a leading role in the development of English sparkling into a world-renowned fine wine.”