Conviviality retail business sold to Bestway

Troubled Crewe-based alcohol wholesaler Conviviality Plc — which owns Bargain Booze and Wine Rack — said on Monday that the business and assets of its retail businesses have been sold to Bestway Direct Limited, a national retailer and wholesaler of grocery products.

“This sale secures continued employment for circa. 2,300 employees of the Conviviality Retail business and provides continuity of trade for suppliers and franchisees,” said Conviviality.

“Bestway have paid £7,250,000 for certain of the business and assets of the Conviviality Retail business.”

On April 4, Irish drinks firm C&C, whose brands include Bulmers, Magners and Tennent’s, said it bought the wholesale arm of Conviviality for a nominal fee with the support of AB InBev.

Conviviality said that for the 52 weeks ended April 30, 2017, the Conviviality Retail businesses had gross revenues of £378 million and adjusted EBITDA of £14.3 million.

“The board consider that the offer from Bestway represents the best outcome for franchisees, suppliers, customers and employees of the Conviviality Retail business.

“It is with regret that the board notes that the companies are not expected to have sufficient assets to satisfy all their liabilities.

“PricewaterhouseCoopers will be in contact with creditors of Wine Rack Limited, Bargain Booze Limited and Conviviality Retail Logistics Limited.

“The board also understand that the realisations will be insufficient to provide any return to shareholders.”