Berkmann Wine Cellars has fought off rival merchants to win the lucrative contract to supply Young's pubs with wine and spirits. Business is expected to transfer from the start of April.
The deal includes about 250 pubs, which were formerly supplied by Charles Wells' wine arm, Cockburn & Campbell (C&C). The loss of this business represents a major blow to C&C, and there have reportedly been a number of redundancies as a result.
C&C became the wine division for Young's and Charles Wells when the two companies merged in 2006, and became wholly owned by Charles Wells when it purchased the Young's share in 2011.
When the most recent supply agreement with C&C expired, Young's put this out to tender, awarding the contract to Berkmann. The Young's 2015 annual report states: 'We regularly review our choice of suppliers.'
Charles Wells commercial director Peter Wells commented: 'We’re disappointed that our contract to supply wines and spirits to the Young's pub estate will not be renewed after the existing agreement expires and we expect the business to be transferred at the beginning of April. Our relationship with Young’s is in good health and will continue with the supply of beers into their estate and the guardianship of the Young's beer brands which are brewed at our Bedford brewery.'
A spokesperson for Berkmann said: 'We just want to get on with what we are doing, rather than make a big song and dance about it; to be respectful to the current supplier.'
Young's confirmed the change in supplier, but declined to comment further. The company reported strong 2015 results, with revenue up by 7.7% and operating profit up by 27.3%.