Marie Brizard to sell distributor Sobieski Trade

French drinks group Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits (MBWS) has agreed to sell its Polish distribution arm, Sobieski Trade, to United Beverages due to a lack of “profitability”.

MBWS announced the plans at its 2019-2022 strategic plan presentation, which came as part of its review into the company’s “tactical and strategic interest and ability to create long-term value for the group”.

The sale – details of which have not been disclosed – will be dependent on various conditions, including approval from Poland’s competition authority.

MBWS deemed that Sobieski Trade was “not large enough to meet the group’s requirements of profitability”.

Following the sale, a new distribution agreement will be formed between MBWS Polska and Sobieski Trade.

United Beverages is one of the leading importers of wine and spirits in Poland, and a key player in the country’s spirits distribution sector.

Andrew Highcock, CEO of Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits, said: “The proposed sale of Sobieski Trade aligns perfectly with the priorities of the group’s strategic plan and will enable us to focus our recovery efforts and investments on value-creating brands and activities.

“This operation will also enable us to reshape our international footprint and continue to streamline our operational model, reducing costs. Lastly, I am pleased that we have come to an agreement with United Beverages which, thanks to its size and know-how, will be able to develop the company and its potential, providing Sobieski Trade’s employees new perspectives.”

MBWS has suffered a difficult few years, with sales in decline. Earlier this year, the company was part of multiple raids by France’s national competition regulator over “possible anti-competitive practices”.

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