Business as usual after Boutinot buyout

The leader of a team that has staged a management buyout at one of the UK’s best-known wine suppliers has pledged that it will be “business as usual”.

Managing director Dennis Whiteley has teamed up with commercial direc- tor Michael Moriarty and wine director Tony Brown MW to buy Boutinot with backing from Barclays and Araldica Castelvero, a Piedmont-based wine co- operative and one of Boutinot’s biggest suppliers.

Araldica’s general manager, Claudio Manera, is to become Boutinot’s new non-executive chairman.

All three directors have been with the company long term and helped build on the foundations laid by Paul Boutinot when he started the company as a French specialist in 1980.

It has since gone on to amass a port- folio of more than 1,000 wines, acting as exclusive agent to 150 producers from all the world’s major wine-producing nations.

Paul Boutinot is to step down to focus on his Waterkloof winery in South Africa and chairman Peter Renshaw is to retire.

Companies House documents filed last June listed Guernsey-registered VY Investments as the main Boutinot shareholder, with a 76.8% stake.

Whiteley, Moriarty and Brown all had minor shareholdings at that time, along with three other private shareholders.

Whiteley said the company would keep its current management structure under its new ownership.

“It’s business as usual, with the same challenges ahead of us as we faced yes- terday,” said Whitely.

“The strength of our business has always been its talented, hard-working and dedicated people, who are passion- ate about the wines we sell and the customers we have the privilege to supply.

“We have had an amazing time work- ing as a team with Paul Boutinot and Renshaw and have seen huge changes within our industry, but our values and working philosophy have remained the same and will continue to do so.”

Paul Boutinot added: “I’m thrilled that the business has been taken on by the team I know well.

“It is good for the staff, the loyal cus- tomer base and the producers, many of whom have been close to the business since the beginning.

“The team is well-placed to take the business forward and build on the suc- cess they have already created.”

Latest accounts filed at Companies House show Boutinot made a profit of £1.4 million in the year to August 2011, on turnover of more than £85 million.

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