Paragon’s parent company Angostura Suisse has decided to abandon the UK wine distribution business to focus on its other drinks company, Burn Stewart Distillers, whose brands include Bunnahabhain, Tobermory Single and Scottish Leader.
Paragon, which distributes a number of wine brands including Chile’s De Martino, Alsace’s Trimbach and Portugal’s Quinta do Noval as well as spirits such as Angostura Bitters, Hine Vintage Cognacs and Barbancourt rum, has entered a consultation with its 28 staff and is expected to be wound up within the next few weeks.
The company said in a statement: “Any potential closure will be controlled to safeguard the interests of all stakeholders – staff, suppliers, customers and agencies. The company’s workforce have been informed of the decision and reassured that Paragon Vintners will continue to honour all its legal obligations.”
Paragon’s directors blamed the business’s collapse on the way it had been left by its previous owners before it was bought by Trinidad-based conglomerate CL Financial in 2004, as well as on the economic downturn and the weakened pound.
The statement said: “We have made significant progress in reviving the business over the last year despite the many legacy issues that were inherited. The economic climate coupled with the rapid devaluation of sterling has made the ongoing trading position of Paragon unattractive.”
Paragon’s directors mean to fill any outstanding orders “as much as they can do”, a spokeswoman told OLN. The winding-up period, expected to last several weeks, is also hoped to give agencies a chance to find other UK distributors.