The US wine and spirits distributor Southern Wine & Spirits of America has agreed to acquire Lauber Imports, Ltd for an undisclosed sum. The move will form Southern Wine & Spirits of New Jersey.

Wayne E. Chaplin, president and chief operating officer of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, said: "The acquisition of Lauber Imports will be a perfect fit for our overall Northeast Strategy, where our goal is to bring a new level of service and professionalism to our on- and off-premise customers and our supplier partners. With this acquisition, we will join together our fine organisations with that of Ed and Mark Lauber of Lauber Imports, both of whom are held in the highest esteem in the wine trade across the Northeast. This new tri-state fine wine division will be independent, with Mark as president."

Mark Lauber, who will serve as president of the independent Lauber division, said: "I am extremely excited to be joining the Southern Wine & Spirits Family as president of its Lauber Division. My Father, Ed, and I look forward to being able to combine Lauber's strengths and experience with the resources of Southern Wine & Spirits. We are confident that together we will add value to not only our on- and off-premise customers, but also to our current and prospective supplier partners."

Chaplin added: "Mark and Ed will work hand in hand with Larry Goodrich, Executive Vice President-General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of New York and Jim Allen, Executive Vice President-General Manager-Wines of Southern Wine & Spirits of New York to ensure we keep growing this great portfolio of brands."