The biggest spirits stories of 2018

11th January, 2019 by Nicola Carruthers

Conviviality crash leaves sector reeling

The Conviviality crash of March 2018 will be remembered as one of the most dramatic collapses to have taken place in the UK drinks industry. Troubles at the wholesaler and distributor surfaced when it suspended trading of its shares after identifying a £30 million (US$42m) unpaid tax bill due on 29 March 2018.

The company issued three profit warnings in just one month and CEO Diana Hunter resigned with immediate effect as Conviviality struggled to raise £125m to keep the company afloat, but was unsuccessful in sourcing the funds. In April last year, C&C Group, with backing from AB InBev, bought Conviviality Direct. This was swiftly followed by the sale of Conviviality’s retail arm to Bestway Direct Limited for £7.25m.

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