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Hallgarten acquired by Coterie Holdings

Published:  19 December, 2023

Hallgarten & Novum Wines has been purchased by Coterie Holdings, joining Lay & Wheeler, bonded warehousing Coterie Vaults and wine lender Jera in a growing fine wine portfolio.

The acquisition, which will take many in the trade by surprise, comes shortly after the announcement of Michael Saunders, formerly of Bibendum, as Coterie’s new CEO.

Hallgarten’s MD Andrew Bewes (pictured) will continue to head up the business, which has been purchased for an undisclosed sum by Coterie Holdings from the Pieroth family, which has owned Hallgarten since 1972.

Saunders said of the acquisition: “We are delighted to welcome Hallgarten into the Coterie family. A best-in-class business… Hallgarten’s addition to the group complements the other industry leading businesses already part of Coterie’s portfolio.

“With Hallgarten’s leading premium trade distribution, together with the long-standing relationships developed by the fine wine team at Lay & Wheeler, Coterie can now provide an unparalleled multi-channel offer to fine wine customers throughout the on and off-trade.”

Bewes, who has known Saunders for over 30 years as a friendly trade rival, said there would be “no change to the structure or management of Hallgarten”, with trading continuing uninterrupted, and “very much business as usual”.

Bewes added: “We are delighted to be joining the Coterie business. Hallgarten is a natural fit in the portfolio of premium wine businesses which offer obvious benefits and natural synergies to ensure our continued growth and success. Coterie fully back what we are doing in the market, and with the support of the wider group, I am looking forward to really accelerating our growth plans.”

Coterie Holdings is the holding company for Lay & Wheeler, Coterie Vaults and Jera Wine, having been incorporated in 2023 to bring these businesses together. Coterie is chaired by Chris Robinson, former Group CFO of Berry Bros & Rudd, with Michael Saunders officially taking the role of CEO from 2 January 2024.

Established in 1933 as Hallgarten Wines, Hallgarten & Novum Wines is one of the UK’s leading specialist wine importers and suppliers to hospitality and premium off-trade retailers. The company celebrated its 90th anniversary this year.