The management team of Virgin Wines has led a buy-out of the business with equity support from Mobeus Equity Partners and Connection Capital.
Virgin Wines CEO Jay Wright has been joined by his team to close a venture capital-backed acquisition of the company.
The £15.9 million management buy-out will be used to further expand Virgin Wines’ loyalty schemes such as WineBank. The business currently sources ’boutique-quality’ wines, with 90 per cent of its content exclusive.
Founded in 2000 and bought by Direct Wines in 2005, Virgin Wines was taken over by Wright, alongside Graeme Weir and Paul Adams, in 2008 and then merged with Warehouse Wines in 2009.
Wright comments, ‘We now have the opportunity to grow the business independently, backed by two hugely supportive investors in Mobeus and Connection Capital.
‘It is a dream come true to have completed the management buy-out of a business that I have such a passion for and I look forward to working with our new partners to deliver continued growth and genuine innovation.’
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New backer Mobeus is a VCT manager which has a focus on management buy-out transactions and has £175 million in funds under management. Fellow supporter Connection Capital allows its 750 private investor and family office clients to invest on a deal-by-deal basis as part of a managed syndicate.
Julian Carr, partner at Connection Capital, says, ‘Virgin Wines is innovative in its approach to market which is testimony to a cracking management team who have turned the business around over the last five years and we look forward to working with Jay and the team to help the business achieve its growth plans.
‘The majority of our clients enjoy a quality glass of wine as well as a quality investment. The unusual opportunity to combine both in the MBO of Virgin Wines saw it significantly oversubscribed and I am sure that many of our clients will become active wine customers.’