Just Wines acquires collapsed spirit subscription service Liquor Loot for $1.2m

Just Wines acquires collapsed spirit subscription service Liquor Loot for $1.2m

Just Wines founder Nitesh Bhatia (Supplied).

Only eight months since rescuing non-alcoholic specialty store Sans Drinks from voluntary administration, Sydney-based Just Wines has added another collapsed brand to its portfolio after acquiring online craft spirit subscription service Liquor Loot in a deal understood to be worth $1.2 million.

Founded in 2016 by Joel Hauer, Liquor Loot is an e-commerce brand that offers a range of spirits such as whisky, gin, tequila and rum, in addition to a monthly subscription service that provides three 60ml premium brand-name liquors sourced from around the world.

The brand went into voluntary administration last month and has agreed to offload its business and assets to online retailer Just Wines for a gross consideration of $1.2 million, which includes a cash element and assumption of liabilities. The deal has been facilitated by insolvency firm Jirsch Sutherland. 

Just Wines founder Nitesh Bhatia says 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,” Nitesh adds.

“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.”

Hauer will guide the brand through this transition, with his role focusing on leveraging his experience to optimise operations and explore new market opportunities.

He 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,” Hauer says.

“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.

“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.”

The sale was managed by Jirsch Sutherland partner Andrew Spring, who adds the result is another great example of how voluntary administration (VA) can be used to save businesses.

“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 says.

“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.”

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