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UK: EFB to acquire John Stephensons & Wharton Wade wholesale Business

Drinks wholesaler Wharton Wade Wines, which was only set up two years ago by drinks industry businessmen Dale Wharton and Derek Wade has been placed into administration.

The business had set itself a target of building a £50m turnover firm and had acquired Nelson-based rival John Stephenson & Sons in November 2008 for an undisclosed sum, in a deal which was funded by the asset finance arm of Barclays Commercial.

Bill Dawson and Ian Brown from the Manchester office of Deloitte have been appointed as joint administrators of the firm and have subsequently sold both businesses Walsall-based European Food Brokers, which also recently bought a number of former Wine Cellar shops after the Runcorn-based chain was placed into administration last month.

Dawson, who is a partner in the reorganisation services practice at Deloitte, said: “We are pleased to announce the sale of the majority of the business and assets of John Stephenson. The sale will help secure all 33 jobs at the business.”

He added that “an extensive search” to find an investor or buyer had been undertaken, but the business was sold via administration due to its financial position.

rajchathaRaj Chatha, Chief Executive of EFB Group, (pictured) said: “Integrating John Stephenson and Sons to our portfolio adds breadth and range to our current wholesale operation. We understand the independent on trade business extremely well as we own and operate our own estate. It will strengthen our business considerably, particularly in areas such as wine, which will complement all divisions within the EFB Group.”

Dale Wharton had previously been director of drinks distributor Halewood International, while Wade had been managing director of the Boddington Pub Company until 1995 when he left to set up his own independent pub company.

Neither Wharton Wade Wines or John Stephenson & Sons filed full accounts, but the most recent filed accounts for the businesses showed that they had net assets of £39,693 and £718,992 respectively.

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Friday, November 24, 4:52 pm

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