UK wine merchants Berry Bros & Rudd has bought Mistral Wines, an agency specialising in wine from the Loire, Rhône and Midi.
The purchase means that Berry’s will be the UK’s exclusive supplier of such producers as Château de Beaucastel, Perrin et Fils and Ogier Caves des Papes.
John Hutton, managing director of Berry’s partner Field, Morris & Verdin (FMV), told decanter.com that the transaction ‘came about as the result of a conversation’ rather than as part of a proactive expansion strategy.
‘The Mistral business was exclusively off-trade, and ours is 80% on-trade, so it’s a very nice fit,’ he said.
The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, is Berry’s third in 10 years. The company bought Fields Wine Merchants in 1997 and Morris & Verdin in 2003 – creating FMV, a division that supplies hotels and restaurants.
Mistral wines was established in 1970 and has been run since 1976 by Anthony and Novella Lacey, who have joined FMV.
Hutton said that Berry’s is not pursuing any other acquisitions at the moment.
‘We’re not actively looking, but we’d never count it out if the right thing came along,’ he said.
See also: Berry Brothers buys Mistral
Written by Maggie Rosen