Majestic wine tasting station

Vagabond offers a range of more than 100 wines by the glass

Majestic has confirmed it is in negotiations over a deal to acquire beleaguered bar chain Vagabond Wines.

Majestic – which operates over 200 stores in the UK, selling more than 1,500 wines – said it was “hopeful of securing a deal” for the hospitality business.

“Majestic can confirm it is exploring a deal to purchase all or part of the Vagabond Wines business,” said a spokesman for Majestic.

“Majestic cannot comment further on ongoing discussions but we are hopeful of securing a deal.”

Vagabond, a 12-strong chain of wine bars launched in Fulham, west London in 2009, filed notice of intent to appoint administrators earlier this month.

The chain offers more than 100 wines by the glass, which can be ordered using self-pouring wine machines.

A move for Vagabond would see Majestic further grow its physical footprint. The retailer has opened 16 stores in the UK since being acquired by private equity group Fortress Investment in 2019.

It is understood Majestic sees significant synergies between Vagabond and its own operations, and believes a deal could help grow both its own retail consumer base and its on-trade supply division Majestic Commercial.

In its latest public accounts, which cover the year to 27 March 2022, Vagabond made a gross profit of £5.2m on revenues of £7.4m.

However, the business approached the High Court to request the appointment of an administrator at the start of March.

A statement from Vagabond Wines at the time said: “Due to legacy Covid debts and other well-documented cost pressures, and the loss of the company’s highly successful Heathrow venue due to the reconfiguration of airport security, the company has decided to undertake a restructuring to safeguard the business and protect the jobs of our brilliant team.”

The Grocer has approached Vagabond for further comment.