Lanchester Wines has acquired a majority share in London-based wine production and agency house, The Wine Fusion, for an undisclosed sum.
As well as continuing to run the Wine Fusion from its offices in Borough, South-East London, its founders and directors, Chris Smith and Andrew Porton, will retain 40% of the business’ share capital.
Chris and Andrew will now work closely with Lanchester Wines’ senior team, in particular Mark Roberts, Head of Sales, and Barney Davis, Head of Commercial Operations. Chris brings his experience in senior roles at Oddbins, Negociants, Champagne Lanson and Orbital Wines, while, Andrew, whose most recent role was Creative Director of Virgin Wines, brings extensive wine marketing expertise.Tony Cleary, Managing Director of Lanchester Wines:
“Both Lanchester Wines and The Wine Fusion are strong businesses in their own right. We both have our strengths which offer a complementary service to each of our customers. We see particular benefit in utilising both Chris and Andrew’s flair and creativity in developing on-trend wine offerings, which will be of particular relevance for our Vintrigue boutique wine agency. As a group, this enables us to get ahead of the curve and offer more relevant wines than ever before.”
“We’ve looked closely at what we need to grow as a business and over the last 24 months have invested in people, property and renewable power generation. Our investment in The Wine Fusion is the latest phase of our ambitious growth strategy and provides us with a sound platform to develop the business into the future.”The Lanchester group of companies remains privately owned by the Cleary family. Veronica Cleary is director of the group:
“We see clear synergies between Lanchester Wines and The Wine Fusion. We’ve worked closely with Andrew and Chris for some time and are impressed at the quality and style of the wines they produce.”
“With an eye to the future and evolution of our group of companies, this acquisition is very much a natural move, allowing us both to extend our networks within the global wine sector. We see this as an exciting time for our business and, indeed, the UK wine market.”Chris Smith, Managing Director of The Wine Fusion, adds:
“We’ve been on a long journey together – two parallel, independently-owned businesses working side-by-side. We have ambitious plans for the future and see this as a fantastic way of realising them. Tony, Andrew and I have a shared vision: a desire to do the very best job and provide our customers with the finest wines possible at their price point.” Andrew Porton, Director of The Wine Fusion, is enthusiastic about the opportunities ahead:
“This is a perfect pairing which brings only positives. While we will become part of a wider group of companies, we will continue to operate with an independent identity, which is very important to both Chris and I. It’s very much business as usual at The Wine Fusion, but with more opportunity and greater resource at our fingertips. I’m looking forward to getting started!”
The Wine Fusion was founded in 2008 by directors Chris Smith and Andrew Porton. It has carved a successful path as a boutique agency house and creator of niche-driven, award-winning exclusive wines to some of the biggest names in mail order, wholesale and retail. It won the coveted IWC ‘Best White Wine Under £6’ trophy for its work on Freemans Bay, and its agency portfolio includes St John’s Road, Hesketh and Parker Coonawarra Estate.
Lanchester Wine Cellars, trading as Lanchester Wines, was established in 1980 by Tony and Veronica Cleary. It is committed to sourcing the best wines from all over the world and has become one of the UK’s largest importer and wholesaler of wine and bulk wine from across the world. The company has invested heavily in renewable energy technology at its County Durham headquarters to minimise its impact on the environment and reduce the carbon footprint of its products.