The joint venture will focus on driving branded wines, spearheaded by Brand Phoenix’s First Cape range, the UK’s fourth biggest seller.
However, Brand Phoenix director Steve Barton said it was already in negotiations with suppliers about managing their distribution, and expected to have three major deals signed within the year.
He added: “SHS already has the full infrastructure and relationships with the independents and wholesalers. It also has a delivery system and warehousing.
“Given the cost of trading in the UK, the traditional model of how brand owners have represented themselves is outdated. We are looking to find ways to help brands increase distribution, at a low cost, which means they can hit certain price points. A lot of companies who have their own representation in the UK are struggling.
“Jonathan Butt [former head of global sourcing at Wine Rack and owner of Butt Naked Drinks] is in discussion with other brand owners about possible partnerships. We plan to be an aggressive force in the trade.”?He added that the divisional structure, including its head, would be confirmed in the next few weeks.
The company is also looking to recruit up to six new sales staff for the division, which will be based at Brand Phoenix’s Dorking office.