Northern Irish merchant snaps up London-based indie

Northern Irish based wine merchant JN Wine has acquired an independent wine retailer in London in order to expand its footprint in the UK and Irish market.

James Nicholson, managing director of JN Wine

JN Wine, which ia based in Crossgar, County Down and supplies supply wines to hundreds of restaurants, bars and hotels across Ireland, and Northern Ireland, has brought Highbury Vintners, a family-owned independent merchant founded by John Sweeney in 1981, for an undisclosed sum.

The sale went through on 31 August, according to records filed at Companies House.

James Nicholson, managing director of JN Wine, said the carefully considered “strategic acquisition” has seen the two companies work very closely over the last few months, and he intended to invest considerably in Highbury Vintners.

“There is a very strong team in place [at Highbury Vintners], and I personally look forward to welcoming each and every one of them to the JN Wine family,” he said.

“Alongside introducing new and interesting wines from the JN Wine portfolio, we have ambitious plans for growth that includes a refurbishment of the 1,500sqft retail outlet and increased investment in its digital presence in 2020. The Highbury Vintners name and brand will be reinforced, ensuring its legacy continues.”

He added that “perhaps most importantly”, the new owners would “remain true to the offering and values that have made the business one of the most popular independent vintners in London with an excellent reputation for quality.”

Sean Sweeney, director of Highbury Vintners who took over from his father in 2003, said it was an excellent fit. “They will benefit from our expert team who have been a strong part of our success.  Our loyal and valued customers, both retail and online, can also be confident that the additional quality offering from JN Wine, alongside excellent service, will keep the values upon which my father founded the business in 1981 alive.”

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