23 April 2012

Octavian takes centre stage as logistics business is sold

Culina agrees acquisition of cert octavian.
Latest step in five-year plan to double business.

Culina Group Limited ('Culina'), the market-leading provider of shared-user logistics services for food and drink companies, has announced an agreement to take over the supply chain activities of Cert Octavian Holdings plc ('Cert Octavian') from Monday 23 April 2012. The terms of the agreement, including consideration, have not been disclosed.

This acquisition extends the existing Culina network to eight strategically located ambient distribution centres in the UK following the addition of the five facilities currently owned and operated by Cert Octavian. Culina will also take over the portfolio of existing Cert Octavian distribution contracts.

Octavian, the fine wine cellarage business, based at Corsham, Wiltshire, is being retained by its current owner through Octavian Wine Services Limited, where strong economic growth in the Far East is resulting in significant growth in the fine and specialist wine market, with resulting demand for Octavian's services.

"Our fine wine business is operating at full capacity with over GBP1.0 billion of fine and specialist wine already in our care," says Nigel Jagger, chairman of Octavian Wine Services Limited. "Global demand is growing and the sale of the logistics business provides us with the opportunity to make significant future investment to grow the Octavian brand and provide our exceptional services to new markets."

Thomas van Mourik, Chief Executive Officer of Culina Group Limited commented: "We are acquiring some excellent contracts, facilities and

people,This significantly expands our ambient network and will enable us to drive through synergies and efficiencies that will benefit all our existing customers and allow us to offer an even better service.

Culina and Cert Octavian have previously developed strong links through shared facilities at Dudley and Rotherham. These operations now become fully part of Culina's network and are joined by Cert Octavian warehouses at Hoddesdon, Lutterworth and Middleton.

In the coming weeks Culina will finalise the details of the acquisition and commence the implementation of its expanded network. The primary aim is to ensure that all current and prospective customers continue to benefit from market-leading levels of service.

"This announcement is further evidence of our commitment to double the size of the business in the next five years," says Thomas van Mourik. "We will be looking for similar opportunities that will allow us to add value for food and drink customers through the innovation and competitive supply chain solutions that set us apart."

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