Bargain Booze goes to ECI

BWG, an Electra Partners portfolio company, has sold its subsidiary, Bargain Booze to ECI Partners for £63.5m. The sale of nearly 600 stores represents a continuation of BWG’s focus on its core retailing and wholesaling grocery business.

Electra Partners Europe backed the €220m management buyout of BWG from Pernod Ricard in 2002. Since the buyout, Electra has worked together with the management team to restructure the business into a focussed and profitable operation revolving around BWG’s core grocery distribution activities. This restructuring process saw the sale of several non-core operations, often to management teams and strategic buyers. The buyout house also supported the growth of SPAR’s operations in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, with around a 20% rise in the number of outlets, and the rationalisation of BWG’s property portfolio. Bargain Booze has nearly doubled the number of franchisees since the beginning of 2002.

Damien Lane, partner at Electra Partners Europe, said: “The successful sale of Bargain Booze is further evidence of the success of the Electra Partners Europe strategy implemented since the acquisition of BWG in 2002. We have rationalised BWG’s activities, supported growth through targeted investment and improved the business’s operational performance. BWG is now firmly focussed on its core retailing and wholesaling grocery business and well positioned to capitalise on the opportunities for growth, which present themselves in its core markets.