UK on-trade drinks distributor WaverleyTBS has been sold by brewer Heineken to private investment group Manfield Partners for an undisclosed sum.
The company, whose core business is selling to pubs, bars and restaurants, has been badly affected by the economic downturn and is currently in the midst of the second review of the business in a year.
Heineken said the deal would allow it to focus on its core brewing business, while Manfield expressed confidence in Waverley’s senior management team and said it was impressed with the company’s restructuring plans.
‘Whilst we have today announced new ownership, it is very much business as usual for our team and our customers,’ said WaverleyTBS managing director Jonathan Townsend.
‘It is important for us to carry through the plans we have in place and to set our sights on a sustainable long-term future.’
Earlier this year, the company announced plans to cut about 200 jobs – roughly 15% of its workforce – after unconfirmed reports suggested it had made a loss of £14m in 2009.
The planned redundancies came after the axing of more than 60 staff last year as part of a reorganisation of Waverley’s sales teams.
United Wine Merchants, a WaverleyTBS subsidiary based in Northern Ireland, was not included in the sale of the company.
Written by Richard Woodard