Wine maker Boutinot bottles out of flotation

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Boutinot, the Cheshire-based wine company, has shelved plans to float on the Alternative Investment Market, citing uncertainty with its biggest trading partner, Bodegas y Bebidas of Spain.

The group, famous for its Old Git and Old Tart wines, said it must negotiate a new distribution deal with Allied Domecq, which recently added Bodegas y Bebidas to its drinks cabinet. Boutinot, which last month appointed Angus Monro, the former Matalan chief executive, as chairman, said it is seeking an early meeting with Allied to clarify its plans for the Spanish Rioja producer.

Boutinot, which had aimed to raise £6m from the float, relies on the Spanish winery for 18 per cent of the volume it distributes in the UK and for 15 per cent of its gross profits.

Dennis Whiteley, the managing director, said Boutinot would seek an AIM listing within the next 12 months. "The postponement is not something that should affect the business in the short or medium term," he said. Analysts had valued the group, which was set up in 1980, at up to £20m.

Boutinot produces just under half of the wine it sells. Other brands include French Revolution and Old Git Reserve.It had a full-year profit before tax of £1.2m on sales of £31.5m.

It owns vineyards in France and South Africa. Its customers include The Ritz hotel, the Conran Group of restaurants and leading supermarkets. It supplies about 2 per cent of the UK market.

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