Quantuma rescues wine bar chain out of administration

16 April 2024 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read

Vagabond Wines has been sold out of administration, preserving more than 100 jobs across the UK. Business advisory firm Quantuma secured the sale to Majestic Wines.

Established in 2009, Vagabond Wines was founded to offer customers a new way of buying wine. The business makes its own wine at its Urban Winery in Battersea, using grapes from its vineyards that are within two hours of London – while its chains have since grown to have branches across Birmingham, Paddington, Canary Wharf, Monument, Shoreditch, and London Heathrow.

According to its recent audited financial report, the business generated £7.4 million in revenue over 2022. However, “due to legacy Covid-19 debts, and other well documented cost pressures”, which included the surprise closing of its Heathrow outlet when the airport “reconfigured” its layout, the company decided to undertake a restructuring in March 2024. 

Quantuma rescues wine bar chain out of administration

With debts mounting, Quantuma managing directors Andrew Andronikou and Brian Burke were appointed as joint administrators of Vagabond Wines. The pair traded the business while they negotiated the sale of its assets – which they secured soon after. 

The sale to Majestic Wine secures the future of nine Vagabond wine bars and provides clarity and job security for 171 members of staff. Majestic Wine is an in 1980 founded retailer, which sells wine by the case. Since its inception the company has grown to become the UK’s largest wine retailer with more than 200 stores around the country – and over 1,300 staff.

Quantuma managing director and joint administrator Andrew Andronikou said, “I am delighted to have been able to secure the long term future of the Vagabond brand. The investment it will receive through its new strategic partnership with Majestic will drive forward its next phase of profitable growth.”

However, the deal with Majestic excludes Vagabond sites at Gatwick Airport and Canary Wharf. The joint administrators will continue to trade operations at Gatwick whilst they progress discussions with a range of stakeholders and interested parties. Operations at Canary Wharf will cease shortly, with all staff to be redeployed at other locations.

While footfall for food and drink venues has increased in the last four years, wider headwinds are still impacting the industry. These include huge increases in energy costs, falling consumer spending power amid the cost-of-living crisis, and a hangover in consumer habits from the Covid-19 pandemic.