Majestic Wine affirms discussions to acquire Vagabond wine bars

Majestic Wine has revealed its ongoing negotiations for the acquisition of the distressed Vagabond wine bar business.

Should the deal come to fruition, it could mark a significant expansion for retailer Majestic, venturing into the hospitality sector with the potential acquisition of 11 wine bars located in London, Birmingham, and Gatwick Airport. Additionally, the deal might include the procurement of an urban winery situated at Battersea Power Station.

Established in 2009, Vagabond boasts a unique concept, providing patrons with access to over 100 wines by the glass through self-pour machines.

The company garnered support from leisure investor Imbiba, identified on Companies House as holding substantial control over the business.

However, earlier this month, the company engaged advisory firm Quantuma to explore strategic options for the business. This decision follows financial challenges stemming from pandemic-related debt accumulation and the closure of its Heathrow Airport bar earlier this year.

In its latest publicly accessible financial accounts, spanning the year until March 27, 2022, Vagabond recorded a gross profit of £5.2 million on revenues amounting to £7.4 million.

It is understood that Majestic perceives both brands as complementary to each other, potentially facilitating mutual growth opportunities.

This initiative could entail Majestic broadening its customer base through the wine bars, while also affording Vagabond the chance to diversify its offerings by collaborating with Majestic's on-trade supply division, Majestic Commercial.

A Majestic spokesperson said: 'Majestic can confirm that it is exploring a deal to purchase all or part of the Vagabond Wines business.

'Majestic cannot comment further on ongoing discussions, but we are hopeful of securing a deal.

'Since our acquisition by Fortress Investment Group in 2019, we have invested heavily in our growth plan, opening 16 new shops; hiring many new colleagues; supplying thousands of premium hospitality businesses through our B2B division; and training thousands of colleagues as one of the biggest wine educators in Europe.'