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PORTUGAL: Symington divests most of Madeira Wine Company to Blandy's

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Symington Family Estates has followed its purchase of the Cockburn's Port brand last year by selling back most of its stake in Madeira Wine Company (MWC) to the Blandy Group.

The two companies confirmed yesterday (1 June) that the Blandy Group will regain control of MWC, although Symington will maintain a minority shareholding in the company, which is based on the Portuguese island of Madeira. When contacted by just-drinks, a spokesperson for the Blandy Group declined to give specific details on the sizes of stakes now held by the two frims, noting only that Symington's original stake in MWC was 56%.

The spokesperson was also not prepared to give financial details behind the transaction.

The distribution of MWC's brands, which includes Blandy’s, Cossart Gordon, Leacock and Miles Madeiras, will continue to be handled by Symington’s associated companies: John E Fells in the UK; Premium Port Wines in the US, and Portfolio in Portugal.

“It is fitting that the Blandy’s bicentennial should be marked by their re-acquisition of a majority holding in their family’s historic island business,” said Symington's chairman, Paul Symington. “My family wishes to concentrate its efforts on re-building the Cockburn’s Port brand and in managing our vineyards in the Douro.”

In October last year, Symington acquired the Cockburn's Port brand, which it already produced, from Beam Global Spirits & Wine.


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