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ABG names UK managing director

Luxembourg-based Amber Beverage Group (ABG) has appointed a managing director for its UK subsidiary and distributor for the Benelux region.

Sam Thackeray, ABG's new MD for ABUK
Sam Thackeray is the new MD for Amber Beverage UK

Enotria & Coe’s Sam Thackeray has also been appointed managing director of Amber Beverage UK (ABUK), formerly known as Cellar Trends, and distribution firm Indie Brands.

ABG acquired UK distributor Cellar Trends in June 2019 and rebranded it to ABUK. The firm also took a controlling stake in UK spirits distribution firm Indie Brands in early 2020.

ABG plans to acquire the remaining stake in Indie Brands later this year.

Thackeray has more than two decades of experience across the UK’s on- and off-trade, having worked as a sommelier and wine buyer across several London restaurants, before spending 15 years at UK drinks distributor Bibendum and then at wholesaler Matthew Clark.

He spent the last four years as managing director of UK wine and spirits supplier Enotria & Coe.

Thackeray takes over the role from Douglas Cunningham who has joined ABG’s supervisory board.

“It has been an honour to see both UK companies grow and flourish, despite the challenges posed by Covid and the economy,” said Cunningham. “I look forward to continuing to support ABG at a supervisory board level and contributing to the continued growth and strategic development of the company.”

Thackeray will work with Cunningham until the end of February 2023 to ensure a smooth transition.

Jekaterina Stuģe, CEO of ABG, said: “We welcome Sam most warmly to the global ABG team. We also thank Douglas for his substantial contribution to the growth of our UK divisions.

“He and his UK colleagues have successfully introduced ABG’s core brands to the UK market, added new brands to the portfolio, and achieved successful business performance despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.”

Disaronno deal

Effective immediately, Disaronno International, part of Italian company Illva Saronno, will distribute ABG’s portfolio in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

Prior to the deal, Disaronno distributed ABG’s Irish whiskey brands, Writer’s Tears and The Irishman, in the region.

Nicolas Diamantopoulos, ABG’s regional commercial director for Northern Europe, said: “We are strongly represented across the world and this new partnership strengthens our position in Northern Europe, following our establishment last year of Amber Beverage Germany.

“We are delighted with this arrangement over the coming four years and look forward to support from Disaronno International on distributing our core, wholly-owned Tequila brands, Kah Tequila and Rooster Rojo Tequila, to an even wider audience.”

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