EXCLUSIVE: Major brewer looking to acquire Bargain Booze wholesaler Conviviality

Bargain Booze administration bust bankrupt
News RE Bargain Booze Store management
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A major brewer is in talks to acquire Bargain Booze owner Conviviality after the wholesaler announced it is to enter adminstration.

The company has filed notice of intention to appoint administrators this morning (29 March) after failing to secure the £135m investment it needed to cease trading. In the statement, Conviviality said unless circumstances change, it will appoint administrators within 10 days. 

Industry sources said a major brewer is already in talks to acquire Conviviality, including Bargain Booze. However it is rumoured that the brewer is waiting until as late as possible in order to get the best possible deal.

Describing funding negotiations a statement from Conviviality said: "There was ultimately insufficient demand to raise the full £125m." An earlier statement from the wholesaler said it would be unable to continue without the funding.

A statement released by Conviviality's board said that the business would continue to trade while it looks for a potential buyer. However, suppliers have told Retail Express that credit lines have been withdrawn and the wholesaler must pay upfront for all goods.

The livelihoods of 2,500 Conviviality staff at risk and Bargain Booze franchisees told Retail Express they fear severe damage to their shops. There are more than 350 franchisees who manage at least 700 Bargain Booze stores.

One supplier working with Conviviality told Retail Express: “The signs have been getting worse over the last few weeks, issues with payments and an increased sense of nervousness within the company.”

Showing the importance of Conviviality to both the on and off-trade, Budweiser owner AB InBev issued a statement urging shareholders to get behind the struggling wholesaler in order to prevent shock waves from spreading throughout the alcohol industry.

The wholesaler had expanded aggresively in the past three years, with a one store opening a week target running since 2015 and acquisitions of rival alcohol wholesalers Matthew Clark and Bibbendum.

The news comes after a turbulent week with Kerryfresh entering administration and Zapper abandoning its convenience channel rollout plans.

By Jack Courtez Avatar
By Jack Courtez 28 Mar, 2018

Comments

3 comments
  • By CURIOUS 29 Mar, 2018
    Reply

    Paying the price for buying the Palmer&Harvey estate.They should have amalgamated last year with them when it was discussed.

  • By John doe 28 Mar, 2018
    Reply

    I have been a bargain booze franchise for a very long time, but no matter what happens I am leaving, I can not believe the way bargain booze have acted over the last couple of weeks, increasingly poor service and shamefully low margins have made us all lose faith in the business. I personally know of 20 franchisees who will be leaving and a load more once they realise what other companies are willing to offer us.

  • By John doe 28 Mar, 2018
    Reply

    I’ve been a bargain booze franchise for a very long time, but no matter what happens I’m leaving. I can not believe the way bargain booze have acted over the last couple of weeks, increasingly poor service and shamefully low margins have made us all lose faith in the business. I personally know of 20 franchisees who will be leaving and a load more once they realise what other companies are willing to offer us.

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