One of Australia’s leading online wine retailers, Just Wines, has acquired the business and assets of Liquor Loot, the Australian craft spirit subscription service that went into voluntary administration (VA) last month.

Speaking about the purchase, Founder of Just Wines, Nitesh Bhatia, said it was a move that helps expands the company’s portfolio and that it would have been a shame to see Liquor Loot close its doors.

“Over the last few years Liquor Loot has established a compelling brand, and its unique business model, where customers can sample products in small bottle formats before committing to a full bottle purchase, has proven successful, with over 61,000 customers placing orders in recent years,” he said.

“Adding spirits into our portfolio marks a new category for Just Wines, which positions us as a comprehensive liquor and beverage company. This acquisition complements our existing offerings, which includes non-alcoholic options from Sans Drinks and overall spirits with Liquor Loot, thus broadening our market appeal and strengthening our competitive position. We are always on the lookout for opportunities in the liquor industry.”

Joel Hauer, Liquor Loot’s Founder & Director, says the sale marks the beginning of an exciting new era for Liquor Loot and that choosing to move forward with Just Wines “was a strategic decision”.

“It offered us a unique opportunity to utilise their extensive warehouse facilities, leverage their logistics capabilities, and benefit from their experienced staff and shared overheads,” he said.

“This synergy between Liquor Loot and Just Wines is set to fast-track our path to profitability under the new ownership, creating a right-sized platform for success in a competitive market,” says Hauer.

“I’m proud that the Liquor Loot brand will live on and continue to provide a rewarding experience for our loyal customers. I’m excited to see the brand grow beyond its current boundaries, recapitalised under new management to explore new markets and product categories including collaborations with the wider Just Wines group of businesses.

“My focus will be on ensuring that our core values of education, experience, and a high-quality curated selection of world-renowned spirits will continue to guide the company. I look forward to contributing to its future success and witnessing the brand grow and evolve, continuing to delight customers with exceptional liquor tasting experiences.”

Bhatia added: “Joel will be instrumental in guiding Liquor Loot through this transition. His role will focus on leveraging his extensive experience to continue the growth trajectory of Liquor Loot, and our team will work closely with him to optimise operations and explore new market opportunities.”

The sale was achieved by voluntary administrator Andrew Spring, Partner at business turnaround and insolvency specialist Jirsch Sutherland, who calls the result “another great example of how voluntary administration can be used to save businesses”.

Spring, who last year arranged the sale of Sans Drinks to Just Wines, says the speed of the VA process enables administrators to focus on the best solution to preserve value for creditors and to save jobs.

“In the case of Liquor Loot and, previously, Sans Drinks, we have acted like a ‘matchmaker’ in a way, in that we have brought two synergistic businesses together and helped effect a sale,” Spring said.

“The VA process takes the pressure off the directors and gives the business the best chance of survival. With Liquor Loot, partnering with an established, experienced online retailer will help improve the business and take it to the next level.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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