Naked Wines toasts £70m Majestic deal

The disruptive online wine retailer Naked Wines has been acquired by rival Majestic Wines for £70m to create a global specialist wine firm.

The deal will see the wine businesses combine their online and offline services but continue to operate separately, however Naked Wines founder and chief executive Rowan Gormley will head up the combined business as CEO, replacing Majestic chief Steve Lewis who stepped down in February this year after a difficult Christmas trading period.

Launched in December 2008, Naked Wines is an online community marketplace which connects independent winemakers with UK consumers and specialises in unique, premum brands that aren’t available in your typical supermarket.

In 2010 Naked Wines raised £10m investment with a million bottles of wine sold through its site but these figures will seem be very weak as the company now works with over 100 winemakers and boasted sales figures of £74m for 2014.

Majestic will look to use the deal to improve its sales and profits; after its share price dropped 17 per cent over the Christmas period, and is looking at overseas expansion in America and Australia.