Buyers circle Lay & Wheeler

With Majestic now sold off, buyers, reportedly including the part-owner of BI Wines & Spirits, are now circling another of Naked Wines’ divisions being off-loaded – Lay & Wheeler.

The sale of the commercial and retail business of Majestic Wines was confirmed at the beginning of August, sold to Fortress investment group for £100 million.

Now it is believed that Naked Wines is organising a sales week for fine wine merchant Lay & Wheeler, which is expected to fetch around £10m, as it continues to hone on in on CEO Rowan Gormley’s wish to become a dedicated online operation.

There are understood to be several interested but largely undisclosed parties after Lay & Wheeler though Sky News recently named Michael Spencer, chairman and part-owner of BI Wines & Spirits, as one of them.

Spencer bought a 25% stake in Battersea-based distillery Westmorland Spirits in 2017 and is also an investor in English winery Chapel Down.

BI declined to comment on the speculation.

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