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Inverarity sold to WM Morton

Inverarity Vaults has been sold to WM Morton for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition will see the businesses merge to create Scotland’s largest independent drinks supplier.

Established in 1991 by managing director Hamish Martin, Inverarity Vaults will continue to trade as an autonomous subsidiary of WM Morton “for the foreseeable future”. Its retail business, One to One, has also been protected as a going concern.

The deal will see Martin join Morton’s managing director, Stephen Russell, on the board of directors and take a leading role in the development of the new business’s wine interests.

The alliance, which will create a combined turnover of over £50 million and a 150-strong team, promises to deliver improved distribution capabilities and staff training provision, thanks to Inverarity’s WSET School of Excellence.

For the moment Martin has confirmed that the “fabric” of Inverarity will remain unaffected; however he conceded that at a later stage it would be necessary in integrate processes and systems in order to maximise efficiency within the business.

The first objective of the new business will be to merge and refine Inverarity’s wine portfolio with that of Morton’s own wine division, Cheviot Fine Wines. This initial step is due to be completed by the beginning of 2012.

Remarking that he had been approached “on numerous occasions” by companies south of the border, Martin emphasised the compatibility between Inverarity and Morton’s, saying: “it is a natural alliance: they are a truly independent Scottish company and founded on the same family values and commitment to staff as Inverarity.

“Our specialist wine knowledge and service combined with their buying power, financial strength and composite drinks offering will establish the strongest-performing independent Scottish wine and spirit merchant in Scotland and I’m extremely excited about the future.”

Russell added his own positive view of the benefits likely to arise from this merger, as he explained: “Combining the talents of two Scottish companies will strengthen and sustain our position in today’s marketplace and open the door to tremendous opportunities.

“Increased buying power, improved efficiencies and an enhanced portfolio of products will lead to a better offering for our enlarged customer base.  And as Inverarity already has many customers south of the border, this bigger and better wine distributor will create more potential for success in the rest of the UK.”

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