ISIS Equity Partners is pleased to announce the sale of Enotria Group Limited to funds managed by BlueGem Capital Partners LLP.
Enotria is the UK’s leading specialist wine provider with 40 years experience of supplying both On and Off-Trades.
The business was founded by Remo Nardone in 1972 and soon established itself as the leading importer of Italian wines, a reputation it still enjoys today. ISIS invested £8.2m from its ISIS III fund for a majority stake in Enotria in December 2005 when Remo was looking to retire and realise his stake.
A main priority at the point of ISIS’ investment was to ensure the safeguarding of the family ethos and culture instilled in Enotria by Remo, whilst building the leadership team under the new CEO, Alison Levett, who joined the business in 2006. The strengthened team combined with improved financial rigour and systems developed during the first three years of the partnership enabled Enotria to turn recession into opportunity and continue on a path of growth during challenging economic times, with turnover growing from £47m in 2005 to £106m in 2011. Two strategic acquisitions – Wheeler Cellars in July 2008 and Great Western Wine in August 2010 – have profitably extended the Enotria portfolio.
Enotria were recently named On Trade Supplier of the Year at the Drinks Business Awards 2012, the wine trade’s most respected and recognised trade-facing awards. Alison Levett also collected The Drinks Business Woman of the Year at the awards, which are held each year at the London International Wine Fair.
The exit to BlueGem yields a multiple of 2.6x and an IRR of 34% to ISIS institutional clients.
Alison Levett, Managing Director, Enotria comments:
“ISIS have been very supportive investors. Through a combination of challenge and encouragement they have enabled us to build organisational scale and capability , which in turn has enabled us to outperform the market and puts us in a very strong position to embark on the next stage of Enotria’s growth journey.”
Mark Turner, Partner, ISIS Equity Partners who sat on the board of Enotria comments:
“Our investment in Enotria has been very successful and we have been delighted to support the business over the last 7 years. Enotria has established itself as a market leader in the sector and has grown significantly since we backed the business in 2005. The management team has done a great job to build on the vision of the original founder, Remo Nardone, and have consistently responded in the right way to navigate through the vagaries of the economic cycle and retain such ambition. We very much enjoyed our relationship with the business and wish Alison and her team every success in the next phase of the Enotria journey.”
Marco Capello, Managing Partner of BlueGem comments:
“In Enotria we have found a best-in-class distributor with very strong management and a compelling track record of helping its suppliers and its customers achieve quality and profitability in their wine business. The company has made great progress during its time with ISIS and we look forward to supporting the company in its continued success.”