Job cuts are likely at the collapsed HwCg wine agency as part of the group's incorporation into rival wine merchant PLB Group, just-drinks has learnt.

Wine, beer and spirits merchant PLB stepped in to acquire HwCg assets after its rival collapsed into administration last month.

HwCg's 31-strong workforce has been taken on for an interim period by PLB, but it is thought that the majority of staff will not make a permanent move, a source familiar with the situation has told just-drinks.

PLB told just-drinks today (14 September): "PLB has taken on all HwCg staff initially and the office will stay open at Stansted for a transitional period of three months, after which everything will move to East Grinstead.

"We are currently talking to individuals about their future plans but we are not quite at the stage where we can confirm anything yet so it would not be appropriate to comment further about this."

Family-owned PLB, which acquired HwCg assets for an undisclosed fee, added that it is "working hard to ensure a smooth transition and to put together a strong, expert team".

HwCg was founded in 1999 by the merger of Hedley Wright and Castle Growers. The firm, which has been based in Bishop's Stortford, worked with around 30 partner growers and winemakers around the world, including Evans & Tate in Australia and Kautz Family Vineyards in the US.