Baarsma Wine Group Holding has entered the UK wine market with the purchase of Armit in the country.

The Netherlands-based wine distributor said earlier this week that it has acquired the wine merchant, which operates out of London, for an undisclosed sum. Baarsma said it will keep on Armit's existing management team once the purchase, which is subject to antitrust approval, is completed.

With an annual turnover in the region of GBP24m (US$42.5m), Armit operates three principal lines of business: private clients, restaurant and hotels in the UK and international trade buyers.

While the purchase signalled Baarsma's first entry into the UK, the company said it intends to "acquire more companies on the English grounds".

"We are very pleased with this acquisition," said Cees de Rade, COO of Baarsma. "We regard it as our first step into the UK. The Armit management team is very professional and motivated; furthermore this company offers many synergy possibilities within the Baarsma Wine Group. Armit also enhances our position in this higher wine segment."

The chief executive of Armit, Ian Ronald, added: "This will enable the company to realise its ambitious growth plans, with preservation of our service, customer orientation and traditions."

Baarsma operates a network of companies in the Benelux region including Baarsma Wine Group Netherlands, Wine Excel, Oud Reuchlin & Boelen, Hasselt Millesime and Lovian. It has an annual turnover of EUR220m (US$320m) and employs 300 people.