Another vintage investment for Mobeus
Mobeus Equity Partners has today announced that it has provided a combined debt and equity package to support the £15.9m management buy-out of Virgin Wines, the major UK wine retailer.
Mobeus has backed the highly experienced, incumbent management team of Virgin Wines, led by CEO Jay Wright, CFO Graeme Weir and Marketing Director Paul Adams, to acquire the business from Direct Wines Limited. The Management Team was advised by Spectrum Corporate Finance.
The MBO comes at a time when the online wine market continues to expand, as many customers move to the convenience of purchasing their wine online. Virgin Wines is well positioned to grow in this market with a niche range of exclusive, boutique-quality wines and innovative customer loyalty schemes such as its WineBank scheme and its specialist wine plans, Discovery Club and JustREDS. Over 90% of the company’s wines are exclusive to Virgin Wines, sourced directly from producers and therefore unavailable from other providers.
Virgin Wines was founded in 2000 and acquired by Direct Wines in 2005. Jay Wright had previously built a successful mail order wine business, Warehouse Wines, which was acquired by Direct Wines in 2002. Jay, Graeme and Paul took over Virgin Wines in 2008 and merged it with Warehouse Wines in 2009. The management team has successfully grown the combined business to a turnover in excess of £35m.
Jonathan Gregory, Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Mobeus commented: “We are delighted to back an excellent team and to be involved with the iconic Virgin brand. We believe that the online wine market will continue to grow strongly and Virgin Wines will continue to mature as an independent business.”