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UK drinks retailer Majestic Wine has agreed a deal to acquire online rival Naked Wines in a deal worth GBP70m (US$103.7m).

Majestic has agreed to acquire Naked Wines

Majestic has agreed to acquire Naked Wines

The new combined entity will be an international "multi-channel" wine retailing group, Majestic said in a statement this morning. However, both firms will still operate as independent brands.

The enlarged group will be led by Naked Wines' founder & CEO, Rowan Gormley, who set up the company in late-2008. Majestic has been on the hunt for a new CEO since Steve Lewis stepped down in February.

The deal involves a total consideration of up to GBP70m, which includes around GBP50m payable on completion in cash, plus up to GBP20m contingent consideration payable in Majestic's ordinary shares.

Naked Wines' senior team will remain in place once the deal is completed.

Phil Wrigley, Majestic's chairman, branded the deal "transformational". He added: "This acquisition will significantly accelerate the planned development of Majestic's online capabilities whilst providing Naked Wines with a nation-wide store network to allow a Click & Collect delivery option for its customers." Majestic currently runs around 200 stores across the UK.

Wrigley said the deal will also open up "attractive international markets", with Australia and the US targets. Naked Wines already operates units in both countries.

Gormley, Majestic's new CEO, said: "The combination of Naked Wines and Majestic provides the very exciting opportunity to build a world class wine retailer, serving customers who are looking for inspiration that the supermarkets cannot provide."

Meanwhile, Majestic said this morning it expects to announce adjusted pre-tax profits of around GBP21m for its full-year. Its final dividend for the financial year and the interim dividend for the new fiscal year will be withheld, with future dividends to be progressively re-instated by fiscal 2018, the company said.


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