The Royal Oporto Company (ROC) has just completed the purchase of the Delaforce brand from the Fladgate Port Partnership for an undisclosed sum. Blending and bottling of Delaforce ports will remain with Fladgate, which has a similar arrangement with Osborne.
This is a strategic move by both companies. Delaforce is the brand leader in Germany, is strong in Holland and Denmark, and will provide an entrée into the UK and North America.
ROC's managing director Pedro da Silva Reis is delighted with the deal . "Our brands were already big in Germany," he said, "and Delaforce will give us a dominant position in the market. We have changed the distribution and put both brands with the family company BORCO. With combined sales of close to 100,000 cases, this is the first time a port company will have real clout in Germany."
The Delaforce move enables Fladgate to concentrate its resources. "The future," said managing director Adrian Bridge, "lies with special category premium ports. These have increased 11 per cent in 10 years. Our group accounts for 73 per cent of this, so we are creating the growth and leading the industry. Port also needs innovation so we have created Croft Pink to appeal to new consumers outside the festive season."
"Our arrangements mean we will still be supplying good wine to Germany and Spain through companies with strong distribution in these countries ," he added.
Germany is the sixth biggest port market, with shipments up 38 per cent last year to 413,000 cases.