Majestic Wine (LON:WINE) Given Under Review Rating at Shore Capital

16 Juin, 2019, 16:38 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Majestic Wine (LON:WINE) Given Under Review Rating at Shore Capital

Revenue during the year increased 6.3% to £506.1m, with underlying revenue at Naked accelerating to 14.5% from 11.3% the previous year, to £178.4m.

Majestic Wine has said it is in advanced discussions regarding the potential sale of Majestic Retail and Commercial with a deal expected to be finalised over the summer months. "As at the date of this announcement, our intention is to sell the business and we are at an advanced stage with multiple bidders".

Shares in the Watford-headquartered company fizzed higher yesterday on reports that activist fund Elliott Advisors had launched a bid for the wine purveyor's 200 bricks-and-mortar outlets, with former Comet owner OpCapita also thought to be in the running to buy its store network.

Writing within the company's accounts, chief executive Rowan Gormley said it was a "pivotal moment" for the business.

"Although we have several options to realise value from Majestic, the cleanest and best for customers, staff and shareholders now looks to be an outright sale at this time", he said.

"Our proprietary USA survey highlights Naked Wines as the number one website for selling wine among its target consumers, reflecting its overall superior proposition compared to peers as our research also reveals and 2x price advantage".

Majestic said if it does not complete the proposed sale over the summer, it will continue to run the retail business independently through the December holiday season before restarting sale talks in 2020. The company also provides cellarage services; and business to business wine retailing to pubs, restaurants, and events.

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Gormley added that a further update on the sale process would be provided if and when negotiations with the potential buyers concluded.

'We would have thought shareholders would receive more so we question if this means the group intends to invest significantly more into acquisition spend than we now forecast?

"There are disadvantages to being an online business with wine".

'Majestic has developed a good reputation for having knowledgeable staff who are happy to make suggestions to customers visiting stores and there are also the sales benefits that come with wine tasting sessions.

In fact, Yacoub said that by shifting online Majestic would lose its "main strength" which was centred on in-store customer engagement, and with discounters applying overwhelming pricing pressure it would need to find a new unique selling point to avoid losing market share. That type of connection would be lost by going online-only.

In a further appointment, Nicholas Devlin has been added to the board as an executive director in the new position of group chief operating officer. In fact, they won't get a final dividend for the 2019 financial year at all if the business isn't sold'.

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