In a bid to further strengthen the already growing presence of its wine brands in the UK, Distell has acquired a significant stake in BrandPhoenix, the UK-based wine distributor, in mid-May this year. BrandPhoenix is the owner of FirstCape, the top-selling South African wine brand that currently holds third position in the UK retail market.
The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will allow Distell to work in partnership with BrandPhoenix to grow the Distell wine business within Britain’s major multiple retailers.
Carina Gous, who heads the Distell wine business division, said that, ‘by investing in BrandPhoenix with its balanced portfolio of international wine brands, backed by strong marketing, sales and logistics skills, we are confident we can advance our joint footprint in the UK.’
BrandPhoenix director, Greg Wilkins, added: ‘Having welcomed FMCG distributor, SHS, as a shareholder last year with its firepower as the UK distributor of FirstCape for the convenience chain, Impulse, Distell brings additional premium quality brands such as Nederburg, Two Oceans and JC le Roux sparkling wines to our portfolio. The relationship will also strengthen our wine supply base in SA.’
His colleague, Steve Rosser, also a director of BrandPhoenix, said that the company was planning an aggressive growth campaign for SA wines within the UK multiple retail channel.
As part of its global expansion Distell is establishing strong trade and distribution networks in many parts of the world. Gous said, ‘While tough trading conditions have prompted many producers from all over the world to retreat from the country, we believe the UK, as one of the world’s major wine importers, still offers exciting potential and profitability if managed correctly.’
‘With its strong retail relationships and capacity to innovate, we look forward to working closely with the team and believe there are many opportunities we can mutually explore,’ concluded Gous.