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Summergate and Pudao join forces with Woolworths Liquor Group

An alliance of great drinks companies

Dec 1, 2014

Summergate Fine Wines & Spirits and Pudao Wines (Summergate), one of the region’s leading drinks businesses, is today proud to announce Summergate’s acquisition by Woolworth’s Liquor Group (WLG), one of the world’s largest drinks retailers, and Australia’s biggest. This deal gives both parties and all stakeholders tremendous opportunities for future growth in the decades to come. Summergate founders, Ian Ford and Brendan O’Toole, will both stay on as directors on the board, with Ian Ford staying on as Summergate CEO.

This acquisition comes at a time when the market is emerging into a new era of consumer-driven demand across the region. The combination of Summergate’s insight, distribution platforms, world-class portfolio, and people, coupled with WLG’s powerful consumer facing expertise, scale and experience, positions Summergate for sustained, rapid growth in the years to come. The vision for the future is for Summergate to continue with its current business model, fully resourced for long-term growth.

WLG comprises an alliance of tremendous drinks companies covering retail, online, production, supply, sourcing & distribution, including Dan Murphy’s, Langtons, Pinnacle Drinks, BWS, and Cellarmasters. Summergate is now a proud member of this great family of drinks businesses.

“Of the many companies that we have spoken to during the process of seeking capital for growth, Woolworths Liquor Group is by far the best fit for our business and our team, with a shared vision and values and fantastic synergies. We share a long term view on future opportunities and have the resources, expertise and systems to support accelerated growth,” said Ian Ford, co-founder of Summergate. “Brendan and I are both very proud that a company of the caliber of Woolworths Liquor Group has chosen to acquire our great business. I personally look forward to the years ahead continuing to lead and guide our fantastic group of people, striving to be the preferred partner to all stakeholders in the industry.”

WLG Managing Director Brad Banducci said: “WLG is excited by the opportunity to invest in the fastest growing wine market in the world. Brendan and Ian have built the business from a start-up in 1999 to one of the leading fine wine distributors in the region. They have extensive knowledge and experience in the region’s drinks market and we are thrilled to make this investment to help support and grow Summergate even further.”

For further media inquiries, please contact us at media@summergate.com

About Summergate

Founded in 1999 by General Manager Ian Ford & Brendan O’Toole, Summergate is a leading player in the Greater China drinks market, working directly with several thousand contracted retail buyers as well as hundreds of downstream distributors through 13 registered and licensed offices. Summergate imports, distributes, and markets premium branded drinks products from around the world in Greater China, and builds markets for these brands across the region and across channels.

To learn more about Summergate, visit us at our new website: www.summergate.com

About Pudao Wines

Pudao Wines was established in 2009 as a direct-to-consumer retail business. With flagship stores in Beijing and Shanghai, sales offices throughout Greater China and a brand new E-commerce capability - Pudao Wines is recognized as one of China’s premier destinations for wine lovers.

To learn more about Pudao Wines, visit us at www.pudaowines.com

About WLG

Woolworths Liquor Group (WLG) is Australia’s largest drinks retailer. It is part of Woolworths Limited, which has more than 3,000 stores across Australia and New Zealand spanning food, liquor, petrol, general merchandise, home improvement and hotels. The WLG family of leading brands includes a network of 1,300 Dan Murphy’s and BWS stores, The Wine Quarter, which is a collective of specialist digital and direct-to-customer drinks businesses including Cellarmasters, Langton’s and winemarket.com.au, and Pinnacle Drinks, which manages own and exclusive brands on behalf of the group.

To learn more about WLG, visit us at:  http://www.woolworthslimited.com.au/page/Who_We_Are/Our_Brands/Liquor/