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Lanchester Wines Acquires Luxury Confectionery Business

One of the UK’s leading wine merchants, Durham based Lanchester Wine Cellars Ltd, has acquired luxury hand-packed confectionery business Bon Bon’s (Wholesale) Ltd. The deal readies both companies for future expansion and secures all 91 jobs at the Wetherby sweets and chocolate business.

Bon Bon’s, which provides luxury confectionery for high end independent retailers and visitor attractions, will become part of Lanchester Wines’ gifting division, Lanchester Gifts which supplies a variety of gift box formats to retail businesses including major high street chains and online stores. Lanchester Gifts also includes luxury pet product brand, Best in Show and high end hamper business, Spicers of Hythe, which was acquired by Lanchester Wines in 2015.

Bon Bon’s will continue to operate as a stand-alone business under the existing Bon Bon’s brand with its directors Mark Rowntree and Peter Julian continuing to manage the team. Bon Bon’s new position within Lanchester Gifts and the wider Lanchester group of companies, provides additional security and access to shared resources.

Recently named as one of ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’, Lanchester Wine Cellars Ltd, trading as Lanchester Wines, was established in 1980 by Tony and Veronica Cleary, and remains a privately owned family business. Tony said of the deal: “We see the acquisition of Bon Bon’s a natural progression for our business, allowing us to reach new markets and extend our product offering. Mark and Peter have established a solid, successful business and we have every intention of working with them closely to grow even stronger.

“We cut our teeth in the wine business nearly 40 years ago. In 2007 we diversified into gifting, starting with wine gifts and hampers, and now Lanchester Gifts is one of the largest businesses of its kind in the UK supplying a large section of the retail industry with own label gift products.

“Through Bon Bon’s we’ll have direct access to luxury confectionery and chocolate to use within Lanchester Gifts’ products, enhancing both our offering and our ranges. In turn, this will extend the reach of Bon Bon’s products to new customers and drive sales. We see this acquisition as a natural progression for both brands and are looking forward to growing both businesses.

Bon Bon’s director, Mark said: “Both Peter and I firmly believe Lanchester Wines and Lanchester Gifts offer Bon Bon’s the right home for both the business and our team. Both companies possess a family business ethos and share many common values. This acquisition provides an excellent fit for the companies’ customers, suppliers and staff allowing us to grow with an extended knowledge-base.”

Bon Bon’s (Wholesale) Ltd was established in 2007 by Peter and Mark with the aim of providing customers with premium confectionery combined with high impact merchandising. Bon Bon’s is entirely focused on supplying the fine food market with a clear point of difference to products available to customers in mass-retail outlets.

Lanchester Wines worked closely with trusted partners Square One Law and Andy Parker of HSBC. Grant Thornton provided due diligence.

John Hammill, corporate partner from commercial law firm Square One Law, said: “The acquisition of Bon Bon’s is a very good fit with Lanchester Wines’ existing business model and will enable it to increase its capabilities and presence in luxury gifting market. The combined experience of both businesses creates the potential for new employment and expansion in the future.”

Lanchester Wines is one of the UK’s leading wine merchants providing wines to the trade. It’s gift division, Lanchester Gifts designs, develops and packs branded and bespoke gifts for the food and drink retail sector, including leading high street stores. It also provides contract fulfilment of wine, hampers and gifts for ecommerce partners.

The different brands within Lanchester Gifts include: luxury pet product supplier, Best in Show; leading luxury hamper business, Spicers of Hythe; online brand First4Hampers which delivers hand-packed food and wine hampers and gifts direct to consumer; First4Fruit which specialises in fruit hampers; and Penny Post which delivers specialist gifts through the letterbox.

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