Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Independent Liquor buys Mill chain for undisclosed sum

Independent Liquor buys Mill retail chain for undisclosed sum

By Paul McBeth

May 20 (BusinessDesk) - Independent Liquor, whose Japanese owner Asahi is locked in a court battle over the $1.5 billion price tag it paid for the booze empire, is extending its reach into retailing by acquiring the Mill Liquorsave bottlestore chain.

The Papakura-based company, which claims annual sales in excess of $300 million, will pay an undisclosed amount for the 35-store Mill chain in a deal expected to settle in the middle of the year, Independent said in a statement. The liquor company took a swipe at its rivals, saying those with retail arms refuse to stock competitors’ brands, which is limiting competition.

“We’ve experienced this first hand; it’s anti-competitive and should be challenged,” Independent chief executive Julian Davidson said. “We relish competition, and we want customers to walk in to their local Mill store and find exactly what they are looking for, whether it’s an Independent Liquor product or one of our competitors’.”

The step into retail comes after Independent launched its boutique beer brand, Boundary Road, in 2011 to add to its dominance in the local ready-to-drink market, with brands including Woodstock Bourbon and Vodka Cruisers.

New Plymouth-based Mill was owned by Christopher and Nyall Simkin, according to the Companies Office.

Asahi bought Independent Liquor, trading as Flavoured Beverages Group Holdings, in 2011 when it was on a spending spree having built up a US$4.9 billion war chest.

It has since filed papers in the Federal Court in Melbourne against vendors Pacific Equity Partners, Unitas Capital, certain funds controlled by the two firms, management services companies for the firms, and certain directors of both private equity companies, claiming it was misled over Independent's earnings and overpaid as a result.

The Mill will be run as a standalone business led by Jeremy Levingston, and Independent is looking at franchising the chain and refurbishing the existing 35 stores.

The rival Liquor King 40-store chain, owned by Lion Nathan’s Lion Liquor Retail, reported sales of $85.2 million in the 12 months ended Sept. 30 last year, with gross profit of $17.6 million. Its total assets were valued $40.7 million, as at Sept. 30.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Welcome Home: Record High Migration Stokes 41-Year High Population Growth

New Zealand annual net migration hit a new high in October as more people arrived from than departed for Australia for the first time in more than 20 years. More>>


Citizens' Advice Bureau: Report Shows Desperate Housing Situation Throughout NZ

CAB's in-depth analysis of over 2000 client enquiries about emergency accommodation shows vulnerable families, pregnant women and children living in cars and garages, even after seeking assistance from the Ministry of Social Development and Housing New Zealand. More>>


Speaking For The Bees: Greens Call For Neonicotinoid Pesticide Ban

The National Government should ban the use of controversial pesticides called neonicotinoids after evidence has revealed that even at low doses they cause harm to bee populations, the Green Party said today. More>>


Science Awards: NZAS Celebrate NZ Scientific Achievements

The Marsden Medal is awarded for a lifetime of outstanding service to the cause or profession of science, in recognition of service rendered to the cause or profession of science in the widest connotation of the phrase. This year’s medal is awarded to Dr Mike Andrews. More>>


Court Rules: Affco 'Unlawfully' Locked Out Meat Workers

The note says the full court found for the plaintiffs, "that is that the defendant locked out the second plaintiffs unlawfully and that it breached s 32 of the Act by acting otherwise than in good faith towards the plaintiffs while collective bargaining was still going on." More>>


New Bill Introduced: GST On Online Services

These measures are an important first step in the Government’s efforts to deal with increasing volumes of online services and other intangibles purchased from overseas suppliers that should, under New Zealand’s tax rules, be subject to GST. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news