Armit bought by Dutch wine group

12 September, 2008

The London fine wine merchant Armit has been bought by the Dutch wine trading house Baarsma.

It is the first move by Baarsma into the UK market and the company said it intended to make other acquisitions in the future.

Cees de Rade, Baarsma’s chief operating officer, said: “We regard it as our first step into the UK.”

The current Armit management will remain with the company.

“The team is very professional and motivated and the company offers many synergy possibilities within the Baarsma group,” said de Rade. “Armit also enhances our position in the higher wine segment.”

Baarsma has a declared policy of international expansion by acquisition in north west Europe.

It bought the Cellarmaster Wines Europe mail order business last year, and the Canei Italian wine brand from Pernod Ricard.

It has wine trading operations in France, Switzerland and South Africa, and is the Dutch distributor for Constellation brands.

Armit was founded by John Armit in 1988 and has earned a glowing reputation for taking a modern approach to traditional fine wine trading.

It claims to be one of the UK’s biggest importers of first growth Bordeaux and is the exclusive agent for leading Pomerol house Chateau Lafleur.

Its Italian agencies include Sassicaia and Angelo Gaja.

Armit chief executive Ian Ronald said: “This will enable the company to realise its ambitious growth plans, with preservation of our service, customer orientation and traditions.”




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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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