On-trade merchant said agreement with off-trade supplier forms all-encompassing business covering the entire trade
ON-TRADE merchant Bibendum Wine has merged with drinks importer PLB Group to form The Bibendum PLB Group.
The agreement between the two firms was said to be based on “considerable synergies between the two businesses”.
In a statement, Bibendum said that the recently completed merger allows the firm to be “100% focused” on the on-trade, while gaining access to “even more fantastic wine to boost our range”.
Bibendum also confirmed that the merger should not change the way operators do business with the firm, with deliveries, account managers and sales directors all expected to remain unaffected.
Bibendum said it will continue to deal with the on-trade, while PB services the off-trade.
The news coincides with the announcement that the new group has also acquired wine supplier Walker & Wodehouse. The supplier will work with independent merchants and regional wholesalers.
The Bibendum PLB Group will now comprise five trading companies: Bibendum; PLB; Walker & Wodehouse; craft beer and spirits division Instil; and live events business Wondering Wine Company.
Bibendum founded the Wondering Wine Company in 2011 and Instil Drinks Company in 2013. Instil will now incorporate PLB’s beer division.
Bibendum Wine managing director Michael Saunders takes on the role of chief executive of The Bibendum PLB Group.
On the merger, Saunders said consolidation has been “a widely discussed topic in the industry for several years as companies strive to grow in a low margin and complex market”.
“By uniting the strengths of Bibendum with the strengths of PLB, and maximising the expertise within each trading company, our new group will be uniquely placed to offer customers the best possible service,” said Saunders.
Jeffrey Fredericks, founder and chairman of PLB, who will continue in his role within the new group, said that as part of Bibendum PLB “the vision of being able to offer the number one service to all areas of the UK trade will be realised”.
“As a family business, it was very important to us that we found the right partner and we have found that with Bibendum,” said Fredericks.
“The two companies now join to become the UK’s most powerful independent drinks company and a unique route to market for any supplier.”