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Liberty Wines and Sogrape strengthen partnership

04 April 2017

Liberty Wines and Sogrape strengthen partnership

Following the success of its distribution arrangement announced in January 2017, Liberty Wines and Sogrape are pleased to announce the purchase of a minority shareholding in Liberty Wines.
 
In the context of the ambitious development of its international business, and with some of its brands achieving a double-digit increase in sales in the UK, Fernando C. Guedes, CEO Sogrape, explains, “This investment underlines our company’s commitment to the UK, enhancing our competitiveness and extending distribution of our wines.”
 
Guedes continues, “The UK is a priority market for us, as it is one of the great shop windows of the world. This investment highlights our strategic focus, our continuing commitment to quality and our ability to maximise value from grape to glass as we pursue a path of sustained growth.
 
David Gleave MW, Managing Director, Liberty Wines, says, “We entered into discussions with Sogrape a year ago, and announced in January that we were taking on distribution of most of their estates for the UK and Ireland. Over the last few months, both Sogrape’s Board and ours recognised the compelling strategic reasons for closer cooperation and partnership to respond to rapidly changing customer needs.
 
Through this partnership, Liberty Wines is enhancing its strong portfolio of agency brands with Sogrape’s premium wines from Portugal (Sandeman and Casa Ferreirinha), Spain (Bodegas LAN), Chile (Chateau Los Boldos) and Argentina (Finca Flichman), all of which have great potential for growth in the premium on-trade, an area in which Liberty Wines specialises.
 
Gleave is also relishing the challenge of maintaining the growth that Mateus has enjoyed in the past 12 months.  He says, “Mateus Rosé has grown in a shrinking market in 2016 due to its quality and strong brand recognition, and we aim to build upon that performance.
 
2016 was an historic year for Sogrape, with global revenue reaching a record 214 million euros (an increase of 3.9% over the prior year) and the UK market accounting for 7% of total sales.
 
Fiscal 2017 has been a record year for Liberty Wines, with strong double-digit growth bringing sales turnover in excess of £53 million.
 
Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

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