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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  16 May 2011

BEVERAGES: Distell Buys Stake In BrandPhoenix


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In a bid to further strengthen the already growing presence of its wine brands in the UK, Stellenbosch-based Distell has acquired a significant stake in BrandPhoenix Ltd, the UK-based wine distributor.  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: “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.  To harness the joint market collateral of FirstCape and Distell in particular will crucially go towards offering the UK trade a one-stop South African wine solution.”

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 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 South Africa.”

His colleague, Steve Rosser, also a director of BrandPhoenix, said the company was planning an aggressive growth campaign for South African wines within the UK multiple retail channel.

Distell is the tenth largest wine marketer worldwide and trades on every continent.  As part of its global expansion it 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.”

She said BrandPhoenix’s low-overhead company approach had been to focus on the UK consumer and provide good quality, well packaged wine brands that offered outstanding value.  These features were underpinned by strong promotional plans to secure high in-store visibility. “It is a formula that works. BrandPhoenix has also developed a firm following for the low-alcohol wines in its portfolio. 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.”



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