|United Wineries looks to Russia, China and USA for growth|
|Written by Gemma McKenna|
|Monday, 15 October 2012 15:35|
Spanish firm United Wineries has restructured its senior team as it turns its focus away from the UK and other mature markets and on to the faster-growing economies of Russia, China and the USA.
Current managing director Andrés Pérez de Herrasti is moving to the group’s parent company Corporacion Financiera Arco (CFA), to work on strategy, business development and M&A.
Richard Macadam will take his place at the helm of United Wineries’ wholly owned subsidiaries in Spain, UK, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden.
Macadam said: “Business remains challenging in the UK and other mature markets but there are reasons to be optimistic about the future. Total exports of Spanish wine grew 13.5% in value in the first quarter of 2012 and United Wineries with its network of fully owned subsidiaries and well-known brands sits in a very strong position. The company will continue to focus mainly in Rioja which is doing well with sustained growth of 4% year on year to August 2012”.
A spokesman for the firm said it was looking to “maintain” and not lose any of its UK business, adding, “we’re quite pragmatic and realistic in that we can’t see it [the UK market] booming in the way it has done”. “We’ve seen it stabilise and almost stagnate,” he added.
Instead CFA is looking to expand its portfolio by investing in Spanish companies operating in food, wine, hospitality and tourism with a strong international presence.
Herrasti said: “We believe there is a great opportunity to replicate the United Wineries success story investing in companies where CFA capital, expertise, strategic insight and financial and operational support can be instrumental in delivering long-term sustainable growth”.
United Wineries sells in excess of 40 million bottles of wine and plans to boosts its international presence by expanding into the US and Latin America, in partnership with a local operator; Russia, where United Wineries has reached a new distribution agreement with a major player in the Russian market; and China.
CFA is a majority shareholder in United Wineries Holdings SA (76%); The Haciendas Company Ltd. (100%), a management company specialised in small luxury wine hotels, casual eateries and wholesale and B2C distribution of fine food and wine; and has a 5% stake in Dinamia Capital Privado SCR SA, a private equity company listed on the stock exchange in Madrid.