The two-step move will see current UK distributor Cellar Trends form a daughter company this October called CTJM, which, once established, will be transferred to Mast-Jägermeister ownership, taking on the name Mast-Jägermeister UK Ltd.
Having been under Cellar Trends’ control for 13 years in the UK, the spirit is now the third most popular spirit in the UK on-trade and is the company’s best-seller, with sales of almost half a million 9-litre cases. Jägermeister generated £257m in sales last year in the UK, the brand’s third strongest market.
Around 50 of Cellar Trends’ staff will be hived from the distributor’s main operation to staff the subsidiary and, once controlled by Mast-Jägermeister, will be headed up by former European MD of Russian Standard Vodka, Guy Lawrence, with further recruitment anticpated.
The terms of the deal or timeframe of the transition have not been disclosed but Cellar Trends said it would continue to “supply services” once the move is complete.
Martin Watts, joint managing director at Cellar Trends, said: “We create the new subsidiary to ensure that there is a seamless continuity of service as we enter the busiest period of the year. This way we can also ensure that when the business transfers to the brand owner, it will be a fully operational business.”
Michael Volke, member of the Executive Board at Mast-Jägermeister said: “The decision to establish a fully owned distribution company would not be possible without the outstanding success and capabilities of our partner Cellar Trends in building consumer relevance and a substantial business for Jägermeister.
“The UK has become the third largest and one of the most dynamic Jägermeister markets in the world. The British spirits market also often sets the trend for the category elsewhere, so managing the development of the brand here has become of major importance to us.”