AFTER months of speculation, Inverarity Morton (IM) completed its purchase of Forth Wines this week, in the process creating Scotland’s largest wine company.
The seven-figure deal comes two years after Wm Morton’s merger with Inverarity Vaults and three years after George Thomson, Ian Cumming, Ewen Cameron and Alan Cramond bought Forth Wines with the help of private investors. The enlarged company will have a combined turnover of around £75m with a workforce of over 200.
Of the four directors from Forth Wines, two will move to IM. Ian Cumming will join as commercial director with Alan Cramond assuming the role of director of finance.
Stephen Russell, managing director at IM, told DRAM, “It’s fourth time lucky. I first tried to buy Forth Wines 20 years ago, then 10 years, and again last year. But finally we sealed the deal last night.”
Said Ian Cumming, “It is the right move for Forth. It allows us to move onto the next stage of our development. We needed a trade partner which we had synergy with and we have that with Inverarity Morton.”
And Stephen agrees, adding, “There is some comfort in growing strong and bigger, but we didn’t take a scattergun approach. Both Forth and ourselves have a similar sized wine list, and we will end up with a fantastic portfolio. Our wine portfolio is one of our biggest selling points and one we work will tirelessly to ensure it remains unequalled on breadth, depth and value.”
He continues, “One of the attractions was also Forth’s Milnathort site. This will allow us more scope to serve our customers more effectively. At the moment we handle all deliveries from our warehouse in Glasgow, which is already running at capacity.
Having a second depot in Milnathort means that we will be far better placed to service customers throughout the whole of Scotland.”
For the time being the two companies will operate independently. Stephen explains, “This is the busiest quarter of the year for our business and it would make no sense to try and merge our businesses and wine lists now. That will take place next year although there is a lot of work to be done in the interim.`We have also not made a decision when it comes to the name.”?Says Ian Cumming, “I look forward over the coming months to working as one team and combining the best of both worlds.?”Our aim is to be the best supplier to the independent trade in Scotland. We have the same commitment to training, and an excellent range of wine. I also look forward to working with Donald Campbell. We haven’t actually worked together before, but we have known each other socially for years.”?
See Stephen and Ian on www.barnandpub.tv soon.