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Woolworth’s deal puts in Summergate in position to grow

Australian liquor giant Woolworth’s recent acquisition of Summergate Fine Wines puts the latter company in a position to “aggressively” build its markets says its CEO.

Ian Ford (pictured), CEO of Summergate, told the drinks business that the deal, “puts Summergate and Pudao and all of our stakeholders in a position to be able to confidently and aggressively build our markets across the region, and pursue leadership in the drinks business.

“We have a great team of people, fantastic relationships with some of the world’s greatest winemakers, and fabulous customers, and we are well placed now to build and grow.”

Both Ford and co-director Brendan O’Toole will remain in their current roles and Ford added that there was no plan to change the portfolio (which includes Concha y Toro, Armand Rousseau and Ridge) or business model in any way.

“Woolworth’s knows this is a great business and wants us to continue doing what we do well, only with better capabilities and resources behind us,” he added.

He concluded that the Chinese offices in Chengdu, Qingdao, Shenyang, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Sanya and Wuhan would be receiving a lot of attention over the coming months, in particular building a “strong logistics and delivery platform”, which remains the “main challenge” across mainland China.

He noted too, that the biggest opportunity in China from Summergate’s point of view is white wine.

“Consumers in China seem to really respond to the Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay that we distribute,” he said.

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