Majestic Wine has moved into cellar management with the acquisition of fine wine specialist Lay & Wheeler.

The wine warehouse takes over the family-owned Lay & Wheeler for £4.75m in cash as well as taking on an additional £1m of debt. Lay & Wheeler has traded for more than 150 years and last year made a pre-tax profit of £500,000.

Majestic said the move meant it could now offer customers “a complete fine wine service from the vineyard through to storage, cellar management and secure delivery”.

“Given the clear and continuing appetite of our customers for fine wine, Lay & Wheeler is an extremely good fit with Majestic,” said Majestic chief executive Steve Lewis.

“This acquisition will allow us to greatly extend this important offering and help continue the Majestic growth story.”

Last month The Grocer reported that Majestic was trailling a reduced minimum purchase of six bottles rather than 12 following a slump in sales over the Christmas period. The group has added fine wine displays to many of its stores in recent time amid continued growth in the sale of wines costing more than £20.

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