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Private equity firm buys control of Wine Source Group

Saphir Capital has acquired a controlling stake in the self-styled 'fine wine concierge' service with a producer network spanning from Cheval Blanc and Château d'Yquem to lesser known estates around the world.

Saphir Capital has increased its shareholding in Wine Source Group to 51%, following a ‘seven-figure capital investment’, the companies announced this week.

Wine Source launched in 2009 as a ‘fine wine concierge’ service, supplying wines from both established and more under-the-radar producers in highly regarded wine regions to top hotels and restaurants, as well as private clients.

It specialises in sourcing specific vintages and rare wines direct from winery cellars.

Some of the bigger names in its network include Châteaux Cheval Blanc, d’Yquem, Margaux, Haut-Bailly and Palmer in Bordeaux, as well as Promontory in Napa Valley, Hirsch Vineyards in Sonoma County and Eric Rodez in Champagne.

The group said it would use the extra investment to expand its operations globally.

It said that it has opened a commercial office in Bordeaux, moved its headquarters to France and appointed a chief operating officer, Matthew Grimsdale, following ‘significant investment’ from Saphir.

Philippe Kalmbach, CEO of Wine Source Group, said he was delighted with the new partnership with the private equity firm.

‘The last 6 months have been a proven testament of the capabilities of our business as we compete amongst the top fine wine merchants around the world, bringing unique and personalised offerings to our clients.’

Daria Polunina, director of Saphir UK, said, ‘We are delighted to have joined the Wine Source Group as a majority stakeholder and look forward to seeing the offering, portfolio and team grow as a result of our investment.’

See also: Fine wine prices fall as Bordeaux and Burgundy weaken


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