Shoosmiths advises on £15.9m Virgin Wines buy-out

Shoosmiths advises on £15.9m Virgin Wines buy-out


Author: Alastair Gray

Shoosmiths' Manchester corporate and banking team has advised on the £15.9m management buy-out of leading online wine retailer Virgin Wines - which has a significant part of its operations in the North West.

The national law firm advised a newco backed by private equity funds Mobeus Equity Partners and Connection Capital, together with management in relation to the acquisition and finance arrangements for the transaction

The deal will see Virgin Wines operations split between Preston and Norwich, after being owned by Reading-based Direct Wines Limited.

Shoosmiths advised the management team of chief executive officer Jay Wright, chief financial officer Graeme Weir, and marketing director Paul Adams concerning their equity investment for the deal.

Wright said: "I have been delighted with the support, skill and professionalism the whole team at Shoosmiths has shown in helping us complete the MBO of Virgin Wines.

"They have skilled expertise across every discipline and, without exception, have delivered a top class service in every case. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Shoosmiths to other firms looking for similar expertise."

Shoosmiths' team was led by partner Kieran Toal, and comprised partner Mark Dawson and senior associate Alex Lilley on corporate matters; with partner Graham Hall and solicitor Holly Cheng on banking aspects.

Toal said: "A multi-discipline Shoosmiths team has once again played an important part in an exciting deal for the region, and we're delighted to help establish a business with a well-known, dynamic brand that will now have a significant part of its business in the North West, and which is ideally placed to take advantage of the growing online wine retail sector.


"We're pleased to have played a key role in the transaction, which further enhances Shoosmiths' growing reputation as leading adviser on corporate and private equity transactions both regionally and nationally."

Mobeus Equity Partners and Connection Capital provided the combined debt and equity package to support the £15.9m MBO, which saw Wright, Weir and Adams acquire the business from Direct Wines, which in turn bought Virgin Wines in 2005.

Founded in 2000, Virgin Wines sells 'boutique-quality wines', many of them exclusively, and sources direct from producers.