Conviviality to acquire Bibendum and Instil Drinks Co


conviviality bibendum plb

Bibendum PLB, a leading supplier of wine and spirits to the trade, is being acquired by Conviviality, the owner of on-trade distributor Matthew Clark.

The £60m deal, announced last night, will allow expansion in different channels and markets for Conviviality which is already the UK’s largest independent drinks distributor to the on-trade.

Bibendum PLB’s five trading companies will continue to operate as normal, including Bibendum, which supplies wine to the on-trade, and Instil Drinks Co which specialises in spirits, beer and cider.

Bibendum PLB’s leadership team, including CEO Michael Saunders, remains in place, and Conviviality said that no significant changes were “envisaged in the near future”.

Michael said: “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. 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. How exciting is that?”

The announcement follows last October’s £200m acquisition of Matthew Clark by Conviviality which owns leading off-licence brands Bargain Booze and Wine Rack. It also bought bar events company Peppermint in January.

Bibendum PLB was formed in 2014 when Bibendum Wine merged with the PLB Group. As well as Bibendum and Instil Drinks Co, its other trading companies are PLB covering multiple retail, Walker & Wodehouse supplying independent retail and wholesale, and events business The Wondering Wine Company.

As reported in March, Instil Drinks Co relaunched its portfolio of spirits, beers and ciders on April 1, including Hyde Irish whiskeys, Mezcal Eterno, Bache-Gabrielsen cognacs, Dark Matter rum, The Real McCoy rum, and vodkas and gins from NB Distillery, Dunnet Bay Distillers, Prairie, Ogilvy, Jensen’s and Eden Mill

Diana Hunter, CEO of Conviviality, 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 team brings significant wine wholesaling expertise and an enviable portfolio of high-quality and loyal customers, particularly in London and the south-east.

“The acquisition of Bibendum PLB accelerates our aim to satisfy all of our customers who want to consume alcoholic beverages at home or out of home, whatever the occasion, serving customers directly via retail outlets and indirectly through hospitality and foodservice channels.

“We believe the acquisition will give rise to significant potential synergies and increase returns for Conviviality’s shareholders.”

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