Hawesko enters the Swiss market

Exclusive distribution of Champagne Taittinger begins immediately

Hawesko Holding AG (HAW GR, HAWG.DE, DE0006042708) announces that it has, with effect from today, acquired a majority shareholding in Global Wine AG, Zürich, to strengthen further its wholesale segment. By taking this step the Hawesko Group expands its business activities into the Swiss wine market. With a volume of approximately 1 billion euros nearly exclusively in the high-end above 4 euros per bottle the Swiss market offers interesting potential. Global Wine is well-established in the German-speaking part of Switzerland; Hawesko’s new shareholding is a conduit first to enter and then to tap further into the potential of the entire Swiss market. Thus Hawesko Holding AG systematically continues its dynamic and growth-oriented strategy outside Germany after already having expanded into Austria, the Czech Republic, and France – the latter serving Asian markets with Bordeaux wines.

Global Wine AG was founded in 1998 by its current executive director Daniel Caro. It specialises in the import of wines to the German-speaking part of Switzerland, especially those from Spain and Portugal. The company made sales of approximately 5 million euros (approximately 7 million Swiss francs) in 2008. The greatest portion of its customers is in the wholesale and specialised retail trade; beyond this, restaurants and some private clients are also served. Hawesko Holding AG will take at first an 84 % shareholding, whilst the management of Global Wine AG will retain a substantial shareholding in the company.

Furthermore Bernd G. Siebdrat, Management Board member responsible for the wholesale segment of Hawesko Holding AG, stated that the distribution of Champagne Taittinger would begin immediately, as the renowned Champagne producer has already transferred the exclusive rights for Switzerland to the Hawesko Group, respectively to Global Wine. Subsequently, the exclusive distribution of further products shall follow and the trading basis of Global Wine AG be progressively built up.

Alexander Margaritoff, chief executive of Hawesko Holding AG, is convinced that the Hawesko Group’s business model can be successfully realised in Switzerland following the acquisition of Global Wine: ‘The wine market in Switzerland shows significant potential for expansion, and both companies have a similar philosophy. Good opportunities present themselves often – especially, one could say – in difficult times!’

Hawesko Holding AG is a leading supplier of premium wines and champagnes. In fiscal year 2008 the Group achieved sales of 339 million euros through its three sales channels – specialist wine retail (Jacques’ Wein-Depot), wholesale (Wein Wolf and CWD Champagner- und Wein- Distributionsgesellschaft) and mail order (in particular Hanseatisches Wein- und Sekt-Kontor). The Group employs 614 people. Hawesko Holding AG has been ranked as one of the top 6 German public companies with the best market orientation in a 2009 study by the international consultancy BBDO and the chair for innovative brand management of Bremen University, the ‘Best Marketing Company Award’. The shares of Hawesko Holding AG are listed on the Hanseatic Stock Exchange in Hamburg as well as in the prime standard segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Quelle: EQS