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Hardy’s owner sells share in Matthew Clark distributor

Accolade Wines has sold its 50% stake in UK wine, beer and spirits distributor Matthew Clark, prompting the share price of buyer Conviviality Retail to soar on the London stock exchange.

Shares in Conviviality Retail, the owner of the Bargain Booze and Wine Rack chains, rose by around 25% following the announcement this week.

Conviviality will purchase all of Matthew Clark after the distributor’s only other shareholder, pub chain Punch Taverns, said it would also sell its stake to the retailer. The deal is value at around £200m.

Matthew Clark specialises in distributing wine and other drinks to restaurants and bars around the UK.

Accolade Wines is itself owned by Australian finance company Champ Private Equity, based in Sydney.

Champ created Accolade after buying 80% of Mondavi owner Constellation Brands‘ business in the UK and Australia in January 2011. The deal included Hardy’s in Australia, as well as a 50% stake in Matthew Clark in the UK.

As part of the deal with Conviviality, Accolade said it had secured a 10 year contract with Matthew Clark to ensure that its wines continued to be distributed in bars, pubs and restaurants.

There have been other high profile deals in the UK wine trade recently. In August, wine merchant Enotria said it had acquired rival Coe Vintners for an undisclosed fee.

That followed an announcement last year that Bibendum had agreed to acquire PLB, creating one of the largest wine suppliers to supermarkets and bars in the country.

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