Constellation Wines has integrated its two European businesses, Constellation Wines Europe Ltd and Matthew Clark plc.

Renamed Constellation Europe Ltd, the combined business will have an approximate retail sales value in excess of £2.5bn making it one of the biggest premium drinks companies in Europe.

The integration, bringing together the wine, cider and drinks divisions of Constellation Wines and Matthew Clark, will be led by Christopher Carson as chief executive officer (currently CEO of Constellation Wines Europe Ltd) with Richard Peters (currently CEO of Matthew Clark) reporting to him as chief operating officer.

Constellation Europe will be responsible for the sales, marketing and supply of all wines, cider and drinks brands.   Other divisions within the business - Production and Distribution, Matthew Clark Wholesale, Strathmore Water and Forth Wines - will continue to operate in the current manner reporting to Constellation Europe Ltd.

"Since the formation of Constellation Wines Europe in April 2003, our two companies have worked closely and, in that time, we have dovetailed the businesses and recognised the considerable benefits and synergies of bringing them together," said Constellation Wines Europe CEO Christopher Carson.

"By integrating we are able to combine best working practices, infrastructure, strength of service and product quality under one corporate umbrella, allowing us to continue to lead in the drinks market and constantly changing trading environment."

"We are committed to developing our portfolios in wine, cider and drinks and growing these categories by bringing together our combined expertise to achieve maximum benefit for producer companies, trading partners and customers across Europe.

"Additionally we remain totally committed to driving our Strathmore, Forth Wines and Matthew Clark Wholesale businesses," says Matthew Clark CEO, Richard Peters.

As part of the reorganisation, the company is in the process of locating new corporate headquarters from a shortlist of offices situated south west of London.  Finance, IT, Personnel Services and purchasing will remain at the Bristol office.  The company's other premises around the country will be unchanged.

It is anticipated that the new company will be operational from 5 April 2004 following a period of consultation with employees.