Diageo Ireland’s wine arm Gilbeys has been purchased by the Gleeson Group for €6 million.
Following approaches from a number of potential bidders, Diageo Ireland sold the company to the Cooney family-owned company which will continue to use the Gilbeys name and will continue to employ the 30 or so staff working at the wine firm presently.
In previous years Diageo has sold its Finches and United Beverages operations to the Gleeson Group which now becomes the biggest distributor of wines in Ireland, ahead of Edward Dillon & Company and Pernod Ricard Irish Distillers.
A refinancing deal earlier this year provided the Gleeson Group with €25 million for acquisitions.
The acquisition now puts some famous wine labels such Santa Rita, Faustino and B&G into the Gleeson Group portfolio.
The Gleeson Group is understood to have had about two per cent of the wine distribution market before the deal, while Gilbeys had about 13 per cent.
Turnover at Gleeson Group accounted for €230.3 million in 2009, down from €250 million in 2008 with pre-tax profits at €2.7 million down from €3 million.
The agreement is still subject to the regulatory approval of the Competition Authority, a process that is expected to take between one month and three months.