Majestic Wine sells retail arm in £95m deal

US investment firm Fortress has agreed to purchase Majestic Wine’s retail operation and French divisions in sale worth £95 million (US$115m).

US-based Fortress Investment Group LLC has agreed to purchase Majestic Wine’s stores, website, headquarters and on-trade and French divisions as part of the sale.

“Majestic has been on the UK high street for almost 40 years, building a bank of affection for our bottles, people and stores,” said Joshua Lincoln, managing director at Majestic.

“We intend to be the leader in the UK retail revolution with a focus on experience, expertise and product. Over 1,000 roles and Majestic’s store network will remain. Majestic has grown through periods of dramatic change, I know we have the recipe to do it again. We want to keep investing in our stores, in our people and our product – everything you can feel, touch and sip. After all, you cannot taste wine online.”

Majestic, which was founded in 1980, sells more than 37 million bottles of wine, spirits and beers each year and has over a million customers. It had a turnover of over £300m (US$363m) last year.

According to the US investment firm, it sees “Majestic as providing a great opportunity to enter UK retail”, pointing to the group’s “strong cross channel journey, expert staff and widespread brand affection” as affecting its decision to buy the business.

A representative of Fortress Investment Group LLC said: “Majestic is a British institution, occupying a unique position as the nation’s largest wine retailer.

“It offers a seamless customer experience across multiple channels – physical retail, online, subscription and to the on-trade – and has a customer base which loves its stores, people, brand and – of course – wines. We are excited to work with management to grow the Majestic story.”

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