Naked Wines toasts £70m Majestic deal

Majestic's acquisition will see the companies combine their multi-channel offerings with Naked founder Rowan Gormley appointed CEO

Startups 100-listed online wine retailer Naked Wines has been acquired by rival Majestic Wines for £70m to create a global specialist wine firm.

The deal will see the wine businesses combine their online and offline services but continue to operate separately.

Naked Wines founder and chief executive Rowan Gormley will head up the combined business as CEO, replacing Majestic chief Steve Lewis who resigned in February this year.

Launched in December 2008, Naked Wines is an online community marketplace which connects independent winemakers with UK consumers and specialises in unique, premum brands that aren’t available in your typical supermarket.

In 2010, Naked Wines triumphed at the Startups Awards having raised £10m investment with a million bottles of wine sold through its site but these figures are now just a drop in the water – the company now works with over 100 winemakers and boasted sales figures of £74m for 2014.

Majestic will look to use the deal to improve its sales and profits; after its share price dropped 17% over the Christmas period, and is looking at overseas expansion in America and Australia.

The purchase comes in the form of £50m cash and up to £20m contingent consideration of Majestic’s ordinary shares.

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