Inverarity Morton hits acquisition trail

Scottish merchant Inverarity Morton has embarked on its promised expansion plans with the acquisition of Glasgow-based specialist spirits supplier LA Wholesale.

Stephen Russell and Scott Gemmell

The deal strengthens the Inverarity Morton’s portfolio of boutique spirits agencies with the addition of brands including Tapatio Tequila, Sipsmiths London Dry Gin and Santa Teresa Rum.

The move also bolsters the Scottish merchant’s hospitality training facilities as it incorporates LA Wholesale’s sister company, the Liquid Arts Academy.

Following an acquisition deal with Inverarity Vaults in 2011, this year has seen the newly formed Inverarity Morton embark on a £400,000 investment programme as it eyes growth opportunities both in Scotland and south of the border.

Setting the acquisition against the backdrop of WaverleyTBS’s recent demise, Inverarity Morton managing director Stephen Russell emphasised the strengthened competitive edge this move gives his company.

“We were attracted to LA Wholesale for a number of reasons,” Russell explained. “For a relatively new supplier they have built an incredibly successful business with an enviable portfolio of brands. They have a reputation in the trade that is second-to-none in the premium spirits sector, a reputation we believe we have in wines.”

LA Wholesale was set up in 2009 as a subsidiary of the LA Group, which includes LA Events, LA Media and the Liquid Arts Hospitality Academy, featuring a sensory whisky lounge, tasting zone and beer academy.

Commenting on the deal, Scott Gemmell, managing director of LA Group, said: “With the marketplace now maturing and our wholesale operation being pulled to every corner, we see great sense in working hand in hand with IM.

“Scotland now officially has a wholesaler that can meet the needs of any drinks operation in the country from a community bar to five-star hotel or premium cocktail bar. Exciting times indeed!”

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