Stock Spirits, the Central and Eastern European branded spirits and liqueurs business, will move its UK distribution to The Drinks Company as of January 1, 2019.

The move forms part of the company’s ambition to increase support in the UK market through a dedicated UK distributor with a complementary portfolio and deep knowledge of the UK market. It will also allow its previous distributor, Distell International, to pursue its strategy to focus solely on its own brands and the House of Angostura range.

During its partnership with Distell International, Stock Spirits’ UK market share has grown in the UK, as Distell International expanded distribution of Stock’s Polish and Italian brands into a number of new channels and established its position with several key UK customers.

Commenting on the move, Michael Kennedy, Managing Director International, Stock Spirits Group said: “I would like to thank Distell for their time and effort during our short but profitable partnership.

“They have been a very professional and committed distributor for us but after a lengthy and detailed review, we have decided together that now is the right moment to focus our efforts in a new direction in the UK. We are delighted to be teaming up with Bill Oddy at The Drinks Company and we believe that their expertise in the UK market will be the ideal way of taking our range of Polish and Italian brands to the next level. The UK is an exciting place for Polish and Italian spirits with growth of these two categories well ahead of the total market.”

Bill Oddy, Managing Director at The Drinks Company Ltd. said: “We are delighted to be part of the future for Stock International and its brand leading premium portfolio. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Distell for all the professional work in developing the brands so far in the UK market. Stock’s portfolio is a perfect fit within our business and will receive priority attention as we seek to develop the range and expand its reach into the UK market.”

Commenting on the move, Joseph Walsh, Commercial Director at Distell UK & Ireland said: “The decision to exit our agreement was taken in conjunction with Stock Spirits. Both businesses have large portfolios and have a mutual desire to focus on a smaller group of key brands. I particularly wanted to thank Michael Kennedy, International MD for Stock Spirits, for his full support and for being a pleasure to work with. We both believed that the best way to grow our respective brands would be for Stock Spirits to find a new partner for its UK distribution as we focus on our individual strategic priorities. It has been an honour representing the brands in the UK and we wish Stock Spirits a very successful future.”