Venerable London wine merchants Berry Brothers and Rudd has bought Morris and Verdin for an undisclosed sum.
The deal – which was first mooted only six months ago – will both increase BBR’s presence in the wholesale market, as well as adding the ability to source wine directly from some of the world’s most prestigious producers.
Morris and Verdin is particularly strong in Burgundy but also has such names as Spain’s Vega Sicilia and California’s Au Bon Climat and Ridge on its list, which also covers Germany, Australia, Hungary, Italy, and other wine regions.
‘BBR has acquired a flourishing wholesale division supplying hotels, restaurants and independent merchants, and they’re also getting direct links to producers like Vega Sicilia,’ M&V’s managing director Jasper Morris told decanter.com, adding that they were also increasing their total of Masters of Wine to four.
Morris and Verdin will continue to operate as a separate company until the end of the financial year, when it will be integrated into the BBR ‘family’, which includes Fields Wine Merchants, snapped up by BBR in 1997.
It’s undecided whether the Morris and Verdin name will be retained. Jasper Morris will have a key role within BBR, while his sales director Robert Wheatcroft will run the new wholesale division.
Neither Morris now BBR’s wine director Alun Griffiths ruled out redundancies after the integration. ‘In the fulness of time there will be natural wastage’, Morris said.
He added, ‘We’re very excited. This is the best way we can move forward. BBR only approached us six months ago and I can’t think of a single other company we would have wanted to go in with.’
Written by Adam Lechmere