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    Booker acquires wine merchant Venus

    Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images

    Wholesale giant Booker has acquired family-run owned wines and spirits merchant at an undisclosed sum.

    According to recent reports, Venus, the family business that owns the Gerry’s spirits shop in Soho, central London, has been bought by Booker as Tesco seeks to sell more premium beer, wines and spirits.

    Laki Christoforou, the former boss of Wine Rack, founded Venus in 1975 and has built up the merchant, which supplies more than 2,000 spirits and other drinks to venues from its distribution centres in Tottenham in north London, Bristol and Leeds.

    Venus will continue to operate under its existing brand when it merges with Booker and the company’s 140 employees will join the combined group.

    The Times quoted Christoforou as saying, “I am incredibly proud of my team and the business we have built. This is an exciting opportunity for Venus to scale up and explore the growth potential across the UK. I am looking forward to working alongside Booker to realise the full potential that this partnership can bring.”

    The acquisition of Venus will help to expand Booker’s reach with bars, restaurants and pubs. The deal comes weeks after it was reported that Booker has agreed to stock a range of Vinca organic canned wine range.

    Available across 162 Booker branches, around 29,000 cans of the organic wine are expected to hit shelves in cases of 12.

    According to Vinca distributor Buckingham Schenk, the major new listing – the first UK wholesaler for the brand – marks “a significant expansion of the business within the cash and carry, catering and on-trade sectors.”

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