By James Atkinson

Metcash has announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase Southern Independent Liquor Group (SILG), which trades under the Duncan's and OzLiquor banners. 

SILG operates in Victoria and Tasmania with over 100 Duncan’s and OzLiquor branded retail outlets. It also has more than 400 wholesale customers. 

Metcash group CEO Ian Morrice said: “The purchase of SILG would strengthen Metcash’s presence in these states. The Duncan's stores are well placed and we believe that as part of Metcash’s ALM portfolio, sales can be increased as they become part of the group’s established marketing programs.” 

In a company statement, SILG said it had successfully operated as an independent wide-range liquor wholesaler and marketing group since 2001 and in that time, had grown to achieve an annual turnover in excess of $100 million each year.

“However, we need to be realistic about the division between the chains and independents and the long-term viability of operating as an independent wholesaler in the current environment,” SILG said.

“In today’s market, the best way for independent liquor retailers to compete against the chains is through a united approach. Ultimately SIL and ALM are likeminded organisations with similar objectives and we believe that it’s better to amalgamate than continue to compete against each other.”  

SILG said it had been advised that ALM intends to retain the Duncan’s and OzLiquor brands.

“However, it will be up to ALM to provide information on their plans in this area.”

Metcash said SILG customers and retail outlets will be serviced from the ALM distribution centres in Victoria and Tasmania. 

Frank Kraps, chairman of SILG said: “Both SILG and ALM are focused on growing independent strength and we view the asset sale as a positive step toward building a stronger and more robust independent liquor retail sector. An Extraordinary General Meeting of SILG shareholders is to be held in March to obtain approval of the asset sale agreement.” 

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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