Virgin Wines, a portfolio company of Mobeus Equity Partners and Connection Capital, has floated on the UK AIM public market
Virgin Wines is one of the UK’s largest direct-to-consumer online wine retailers. It has a unique wine sourcing and blending model, working with its network of trusted suppliers and winemaking partners from around the world to source, design, blend and sell award-winning and largely exclusive premium wines. These wines are sold to the group’s loyal customers through its WineBank and Wine Plan subscription schemes, with nearly 150,000 active members, and on a pay-as-you-go basis. The group also operates business-to-business and gift sales channels and recently expanded its product offering to include carefully curated collections of premium spirits and craft beers. The subscription schemes help drive high levels of repeat purchases, demonstrated by a customer retention rate of 89% as of June 30, 2020.
Virgin Wines addresses the large off-trade market for wine specialists, estimated to be worth approximately £2.4 billion in 2020. This market is anticipated to be buoyed by consumer trends that include an increasing shift toward premiumization in the alcoholic beverage market, consumers purchasing more alcohol online and growing consumer spend on food and drink-based subscriptions. On a last 12 months basis, Virgin Wines achieved revenue of £71.0 million and EBITDA of £7.7 million for the 12 months ending December 31, 2020.
Virgin Wines engaged Lincoln International to review its strategic options which led to a dual track mergers and acquisitions and initial public offering (IPO) process during which Lincoln worked closely with Virgin Wine’s shareholders and management. The final outcome was the admission of the business to trading on London Stock Exchange’s AIM market. At admission, the market capitalization of the company was approximately £110 million, raising gross proceeds of £13 million for the company and £34.9 million for selling shareholders.
Harry Kalmanowicz and Alex Masters, Managing Directors in Lincoln’s Consumer Group, commented, “It has been a pleasure working with the Virgin Wines team and shareholders and we are pleased to have provided our support as part of the exit process. We are delighted with the outcome Virgin Wines achieved on its IPO. A public listing will enable Jay and his team to continue Virgin Wines’ success story which we are looking forward to following with keen interest.”
“Our admission to AIM provides us with the platform to execute our ambitious growth plans, as we leverage our key strengths to continue to take market share and drive shareholder value,” added Jay Wright, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Wines.
The Lincoln team provided helpful support in exploring the available options and played their part in helping us achieve this successful outcome.
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