Jeremy Blood has taken over as chairman of loss-making Waverley TBS after leading a buyout of the company.

Blood knows his new business well - he was the former MD of Scottish & Newcastle, which owned Waverley, and was MD of Heineken UK after it bought S&N.

He takes over as chairman from Mark Gerken, who worked under Blood as sales managing director at S&N.

Blood, a partner at Waverley's new owner ­investment firm Manfield Partners said he would retain the rest of the management team, led by MD Jonathan Townsend.

Despite Waverley making pre-tax losses of £21m in the year to December 2008 the most recent period for which accounts are available Blood claimed Waverley's future was bright, predicting it would return to profit by the end of 2011. The company would grow its sales by selling more wine to the on-trade and a greater variety of beer.

"The on-trade will continue to be tough for the next two or three years, but we can improve steadily by selling a wider range of drinks, not just beer," he said. "We have strong wine skills that are underdeveloped because the previous owners were brewers and focused on beer, leaving wine in the shadows. We have a strong wine buying team and great expertise and a good own brand."

There was also potential for Waverley to sell more soft drinks, especially to pubs, which are increasingly selling food, he added.

Waverley would also press ahead with its drastic restructuring plans revealed in The Grocer in February to shed 220 jobs and 12 depots by the autumn, Blood said.

These would help to lower Waverley's cost base and ensure its long-term profitability, added Blood.

He also dismissed suggestions that Manfield would sell Waverley within a few years: "We are not private equity owners, we are industry operators. Disposals are not on our agenda; we are not in it to turn it around and get rid of it we are long-term owners."