Republic Beverage Co. has bought a 50% stake in Commonwealth Wine and Spirits in the state of Kentucky.

The US wine and spirits distributor announced the transaction, made for an undisclosed fee, yesterday (5 July).

Commonwealth's CEO, Vertner Smith, Bob Ware, the company's president and COO in Kentucky, and their entire management team will remain with the new company, which will be called Republic Beverage of Kentucky.

"We evaluated our options to strategically position ourselves in an increasingly competitive and rapidly consolidating industry," Smith added.

"Republic Beverage was the right choice. With the power Republic brings in all facets of the business, the new Republic Beverage of Kentucky will be an even stronger premium wholesale distributor. We will reinforce ourselves as the market leader, delivering maximum resources in the most efficient manner."

Republic operates in twelve states in the US, and is continuing work on its merger with National Distributing Co. The transaction, announced in May, will create a company with around US$4bn in sales.