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Heineken sells off WaverleyTBS

Heineken has sold UK drinks distributor WaverleyTBS to the private investment group Manfield Partners.

The terms of the deal state that Waverley will keep its commercial distribution agreements with Heineken, meaning that the UK on-trade will remain largely unaffected by the sale.

A restructuring programme announced by Waverley in February of this year that will see a 15% reduction in the workforce will still go ahead, but Manfield Partners has said there will be no further redundancies at Waverley and the management team headed up by Jonathan Townsend will remain in place.

There will be changes to the board, with Manfield executives taking up positions at the company. Mark Gerken, Waverley’s chairman, has already stepped down.

Townsend said that despite the deal it was still “business as usual for our team and our customers.”

Stefan Orlowski, managing director of Heineken UK, said: “This sale enables us to better concentrate attention on our core business and to focus investment behind our brands.”

The transition plan was mutually agreed and Heineken and Manfield both announced that no competition or regulatory approval was required.

Waverley’s subsidiary United Wine Merchants in Northern Ireland will remain part of Heineken UK.

Rupert Millar, 25.06.2010

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