Bibendum a ‘great fit’ for Conviviality, says CEO

Conviviality’s £60 million takeover of Bibendum PLB has created “a very exciting complement to Matthew Clark”, Conviviality CEO Diana Hunter said this morning.

Diana Hunter, Conviviality CEO (Photo: Conviviality)

Diana Hunter, Conviviality CEO (Photo: Conviviality)

Speaking to the drinks business about the acquisition – announced yesterday following negotiations between the two business which began in January – Hunter described Bibendum PLB as “a great fit” in terms of suppliers, customers and people.”

Hunter also stressed that Conviviality has “bought Bibendum because of Bibendum, we are not about to take that away… Bibendum will still operate as Bibendum.”

Looking back, Hunter said that her aim for Conviviality had been realised with the acquisition.

“When we were buying Matthew Clark we explained the vision for the company [Conviviality]: we wanted to touch every consumer drinking occasion – and now, with Bibendum PLB, we really can.”

While Hunter said that Bibendum PLB “were committed to remain in its current offices until July 2017”, she suggested that the business would move from its current site – a former garage in Primrose Hill – after that date.

Nevertheless, she assured db that Conviviality would keep an office in west London for Bibendum PLB.

bibendum-plb-offices

Bibendum PLB will remain in its current offices until July 2017

“Conviviality intends to keep offices in London and in a similar area – broadly in the west of London; it suits us – London is where the new trends are, and it is important to our new customers that we are in London,” she said.

Meanwhile, Michael Saunders, CEO of Bibendum PLB, said that he had received “a number of approaches” over the 34 years he has run the business, but was looking for an acquiring company that would meet three criteria.

“In no order of priority I wanted, firstly, a future owner that would nurture and develop my staff because they are what has enabled me to build this business – so I’m passionate about protecting my people,” he said.

“Second is the attitude towards my suppliers and customers – we have a really dynamic supply base, and it would be mad to see that undermined,” he continued.

“And the third criteria is the most personal, and that is that the person who took on this business would respect the legacy of what we have built, they would develop our niche and our brand; not undermine them,” he stated.

Claiming that Conviviality met these criteria, he also said that he is staying on at the helm of Bibendum PLB, although he is now reporting to Hunter, who will “set the strategy”.

“I sit here incredibly excited about the future,” said Saunders.

Finally Saunders urged db not to consider Conviviality as one homogenous group but look at it according to its component parts, which include the national wholesaler Matthew Clark along with Conviviality’s retail brands, Bargain Booze and Wine Rack, and then an events and marketing arm too.

The newly enlarged business has a combined turnover of £1.4 billion, confirmed Hunter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales Manager

The Old Curiosity Distillery
United Kingdom

Brand Development Executive

Manchester Gin
Manchester, UK

Senior Buyer

Speciality Drinks
London, UK

Marketing Assistant

Berkmann Wine Cellars
London, UK

PR Manager

Master of Malt
London, UK

Sales Manager

Hairy Dog Brewery
Haywards Heath, UK

National Operations Director

Amathus Drinks Plc
London, UK

Sales Executive – Hush Heath Estate

Hush Heath Estate
London/ Kent

Marketing Manager

Zonin UK
Richmond, UK

Unsigned Talent Tasting

London,United Kingdom
20th Sep 2018

Love Wine, Love Chile

London,United Kingdom
25th Sep 2018

Almaviva Masterclass

London,United Kingdom
26th Sep 2018
Click to view more

Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2018

the drinks business is proud to announce the fifth year of its Global Cabernet Sauvignon Masters

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2018

the drinks business is proud to announce the fourth year of the Global Pinot Noir Masters, the most extensive competition in the Global Masters series.

Click to view more