Distell has spent six months preparing to bring its UK distribution in-house

Distell has spent six months preparing to bring its UK distribution in-house

Distell will terminate all third-party distribution relationships in the UK as it looks to handle its own portfolio in the country.

The South African multi-category group, which owns the Savanna cider brand, said yesterday that it would exit "long-standing" arrangements with SHS, Cellar Trends and Brand Phoenix. From 9 January, Savanna, Amarula cream liqueur and Distell's portfolio of South African wines will move in-house, alongside the company's Scotch whiskies.

The firm said it has spent six months investing in infrastructure in order to directly manage sales and marketing in the UK. Moves include additional staff and a new European head office in Richmond, London. The previous office was located in Middlesex. Distell also has an office in East Kilbride, Scotland,

"This has been an extremely detailed and considered process," said Joseph Walsh,commercial director at Distell UK & Ireland. "It reflects our confidence in the UK market, and we look forward to strengthening our relationships in the UK trade as we look to drive value for the trade and consumers in the market, We have worked closely with all of our distribution agencies to implement a smooth and well-executed transition. Each partner has helped grow our UK market share over a number of years. This is a strategic global decision, which is amicable with all parties and should not be perceived in any negative way for us to exit these relationships."

Distell's portfolio of Scotch whiskies includes Bunnahabhain, Tobermory and Deanston. The company acquired the brands through its acquisition of Burn Stewart Distillers from CL World Brands and Angostura, three years ago.

Last month, South African conglomerate Remgro said it was considering a move for SABMiller's stake in Distell.

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