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Select Brands acquires 1876 Wines

Published:Sunday | June 24, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Select Brands, a distributor of spirits and wines which began operations eight months ago, announced on Friday that it has added the 1876 Wines to its portfolio.

1876 Wines is a membership-based fine wine club which sources the product from around the world.

"We could not be happier to include the 1876 Wines portfolio under our umbrella," said Andrew Desnoes, managing director of Select Brands.

"The 1876 wine club will continue with some evolutionary changes and added offerings and we are expecting great things from this as we continue to work ... to develop our shared vision of growing the wine sector and the appreciation of wine in Jamaica," Desnoes said.

The company began operations in November 2011 as a direct rival to spirits conglomerate J. Wray & Nephew, initially marketing and distributing 156 products.

growth mode

Some of the brands it distributes include Robert Mondavi Wines, Hardy's Wines, Stolichnaya Vodka, Santa Margherita, and Glenfiddich, according to the company.

Select Brands is owned by Ringtail Holdings, a St Lucia-based entity controlled equally by wines and spirits industry veterans Andrew Desnoes and David McConnell.

According to the executives, the company is now in growth mode, building out its wines and spirits portfolio.

1876 Wines, a membership-based wine club, was founded in 2004 by Paul Hanworth and Adrian Garforth.

"The wine market in Jamaica has grown considerably in the last 10 years," said Hanworth. "It is our wish to see 1876 Wines grow to its full potential, continuing to offer our discerning clientele an unrivalled selection of wine and the luxuries and benefits enjoyed by being a club member as it evolves to the next level," he added.

"Select Brands has both the wine expertise and a shared vision for where the club will go next," he said.

Details of the acquisition of the portfolio were not disclosed due to what Desnoes said were confidentiality arrangements.

"I am not in a position to disclose the financial value of the transaction, but 1876 is a viable business, and we have been in discussion for a couple of months," he told Sunday Business.

But Desnoes said the acquisition will make Select Brands the number one distributor of fine wines with a portfolio of more than 200 brands on the market.

1876 Wines will now be merged into the operation of Select Brands as the wine division.

Come July 1, Select Brands will also be exclusive distributor for Eldorado Rum from Demerara Distillers Limited in Guyana.

business@gleanerjm.com