Irish wholesale and retail giant, Musgrave, has agreed to buy Belfast-based drinks supplier, Drinks Inc.
The exact value of the unexpected multi-million pound deal has not been confirmed, but one Belfast newspaper has already suggested that the acquisition will be finalised early next year in a deal worth £7m.
Founded in 2001 by Paul Camplisson, Drinks Inc has quickly grown into one of the largest independent drinks suppliers on the island, posting turnover of £66m last year.
With a comprehensive portfolio of more than 1000 wines, beers, spirits and soft drinks, the supplier is the exclusive agent or distributor for a number of premium brands, including Isla Negra, Vina Maipo and the Treasury Wine Estates portfolio.
Musgrave is the parent company behind convenience symbol brands Mace and Centra. It also operates Musgrave Wholesale Partners and has NI’s biggest cash-and-carry supplier, Musgrave Marketplace, with branches in Belfast, Derry/Londonderry and Lurgan.
Musgrave Marketplace currently supplies alcohol to the licensed trade but this latest acquisition would take the group into what Hospitality Ulster’s Colin Neill calls ‘a full distribution network’ for its product.
‘Musgrave is already a reputable brand and I think this would be a valuable addition to their portfolio,’ he said of the deal.
Paul Camplisson also has another company, JAR (Ire) Ltd., which acquires and leases licensed premises.