Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

#Oddbins: hopefully a deal this week?

Closed Oddbins shop in Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, London

Now that the Easter holiday is over let's hope that a deal can be sorted out this week before bank holidays intrude again.

Rumour has it that the deal with EFB Retail Ltd was supposed to be signed late on Thursday last week, then again on Friday, then again on Saturday. The fee, a cash deal of some £4m, had been placed in an escrow account. Hopefully this deal remains on the table and that he hitches can be sorted out.

Apparently a number of Oddbins shops – believed to be as many as 30 on Sunday – did not open due to a mysterious bug sweeping through the staff. 

Some anonymous comments on the blog by anonymous have suggested that it is not in Deloitte's interest to conclude a deal as they continue to get their fees for as long as any money remains in the pot. I would have thought sealing a deal on Oddbins, which still has a media profile, would be in Deloitte's interest and raise their reputation.

In late 2009 Raj Chatha, CEO of European Food Brokers (EFB), savaged KPMG, the administrators of First Quench, when EFB's bid for 200 Threshers' shops was rejected. In October 2009 EFB bought 109 Booze Buster shops from Deloitte, administrators of Wine Cellar – the parent company of Booze Buster. See report here

I did try to contact Lee Manning at Deloitte yesterday but without success. Will be trying again today.  



you're very up on the whole story Jim! Thanks for the no nonsense updates

Jim's Loire said...

Thanks Alison.

Cotton Jack said...

I'm trying to find out more about EFB Retail - I see that they tried unsuccessfully to buy bits of Unwins and Threshers and did buy a lot of Booze Busters. Cash and Carry is/was part of their business.

Do we know what EFB would like to do with Oddbins stores? I can't imagine, say, the branch on Gloucester Road in South Ken being a success in the Threshers-style mould. Fill it full of LVMH products like Veuve Cliquot and the money will come in, especially if there is a credible wine offering.

Where would EFB acquire wine credibility? Assembling a buying team from ex-Oddbins buyers wouldn't be impossible (after all, there are enough of them in the sector)

The offering of Wine Rack has improved enormously since it was acquired by the people behind Gerry's in Soho - surely they would be a better fit for the London branches?