UK: S&N unveils plans for wholesaler giant

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Scottish Courage, the UK arm of Scottish & Newcastle, today announced its plans to create the UK's leading drinks wholesaler through the merger of its Waverley Group wines & spirits operation with The Beer Seller (TBS), the on- trade drinks wholesaler business acquired as part of the Bulmers purchase in 2003.

The new, independently operated company will be known as Waverley TBS and will be headed by Jeff Jamet, formerly MD of The Beer Seller.

Waverley TBS will operate in three areas: on-trade wholesale - the core composite drinks' wholesaling operation, which will be formed through the merger of existing on-sales teams in the two businesses; UK packaging - a specialist wine packaging operation; and off-trade and export - a specialist sales arm dedicated to building sales in off trade and export markets.

Jamet said: "The combined business will offer its customers a powerful composite range of beer, cider, wine, spirits and soft drinks backed by enhanced levels of service and flexibility.

"By leveraging its expertise in beer and wine brand development, Waverley TBS will be uniquely positioned to capitalise on the continued market growth in wine whilst developing niche and speciality beer brands on an exclusive basis. Only this week, The Publican Brands Report '04 highlighted our own Moondarra as the fastest growing brand in the on trade. In addition, we believe supplier and customer relationships will be strengthened significantly by the new company's enhanced capability for wine development and a 'one-stop shopping' proposition."

He added: "The senior management team will be in place by the end of April and the integration of the two businesses will be completed over the next 12 months. Until then, both Waverley Group and The Beer Seller will continue to service their respective customers in the usual way."

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