Conviviality snaps up Bibendum PLB for £60m

Claire Dodd

Claire Dodd

03 May 2016

UK alcohol wholesaler and Bargain Booze-owner Conviviality has acquired leading wine and spirits company Bibendum PLB in a deal worth £60m.

The news comes just months after Conviviality’s £200m acquisition of drinks wholesaler Matthew Clark, which was finalised in October.

Conviviality said the deal would increase the group’s turnover by approximately 23% with combined annual sales of over £1.4 billion, and would boost its presence in London and the South East in particular. The deal also gives Conviviality a stronger standing in old world and premium wines.

In 2014 Bibendum PLB was formed when Bibendum Wine and PLB Group merged. The resulting company consisted of five parts, each dedicated to a particular sector of the market - Bibendum for on-trade, PLB for multiple retail, Walker & Wodehouse for independent retails and wholesale, Instil Drinks Co for spirits and beer, and The Wondering Wine Company for events.

In a statement about the acquisition by Conviviality, it was said that all five companies would continue to operate as normal, 'and it remains business as usual under the new ownership'. In addition, the company's leadership, including CEO Michael Saunders, will apparently remain in place.

'I am very proud of the success of Bibendum PLB, but as in so many parts of life, things need to change in order to evolve and develop,' said Saunders. 'The new group now formed under the Conviviality banner is formidable - truly formidable - and with very significant opportunity to grow in all the areas in which we operate,'

Diana Hunter, Conviviality chief executive, said: 'We are pleased to be acquiring Bibendum PLB as the business will not only accelerate our strategy of expanding our wholesaling expertise into new markets and channels, but brings significant expertise to Conviviality in the off-trade wholesale market through the PLB business. Bibendum PLB’s wine speciality, particularly in old world and premium wines complements our other businesses and helps us to accelerate our leading position in the independent on-trade market.'

The deal is being part funded by a £32m rights issue. Conviviality also added bar and events company Peppermint to its portfolio of businesses in January.


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