Aerial view of vineyards

Michelmores advises on merger of fine wine merchants Goedhuis and Waddesdon

Michelmores is delighted to have advised fine wine merchant Goedhuis & Co on its merger with Waddesdon Wine – a subsidiary of the Rothschild Foundation and exclusive UK distributor of Domaines Barons de Rothschild Lafite and Edmond de Rothschild Heritage. 

Goedhuis & Co was founded in 1981 by Johnny Goedhuis and is an award winning fine wine merchant that is today known for its expertise in the classic wine regions, with a particular focus on Burgundy and Bordeaux.

The deal will see the creation of a new company, Goedhuis Waddesdon, as part of a strategic goal to accelerate expansion and become a formidable presence in the wine industry.

Chateau Lafite Rothschild will retain a minority shareholding in the newly merged Goedhuis Waddesdon.

The Michelmores team advising on the deal was led by Partner Harry Trick, with support from Chris Smedley, Gruff Cartwright, Joe Wickham, all from the Firm’s Corporate team, and Iain Connor who provided intellectual property and sector expertise.

Johnny Goedhuis said it was a “hugely exciting merger between two great companies” who shared an ethos “of delivering the highest level of service to sell the best wines at every price point.”

What makes this deal so special is the combination of Waddesdon’s extensive reach in the on-trade and their unique relationships with leading Bordeaux chateaux, with Goedhuis’ private client expertise and our extensive contacts in Burgundy and Italy,” he said. “This creates a truly complementary business, ensuring all clients of Goedhuis Waddesdon benefit from an even broader range of wines of the very highest quality.”

Lord Rothschild added that the impressive private client business and the unrivalled experience of the Goedhuis & Co team was “a perfect partner” to Waddesdon Wine’s “deep understanding of Rothschild wines”. “This venture marks a new chapter for Waddesdon as well as complementing its newly refurbished wine cellars,” he said.

Saskia de Rothschild, chairwoman of Lafite said that the company had “long admired the integrity and buying knowledge of the Goedhuis & Co team” and that bringing the two companies together was “an excellent long-term move.”

Justin Randall, Managing Director of Goedhuis said, “It was a great pleasure working with Harry Trick and the team at Michelmores. These transactions always come with a degree of stress and uncertainty, but Harry’s calm and pragmatic approach facilitated the process immeasurably. When faced with inevitable obstacles Harry presented alternatives which allowed us to move forward constructively and for the deal to be concluded.”

Also advising on the transaction were finnCap Cavendish plc (Corporate Finance), Sayers Butterworth LLP (tax) and Solomon Taylor & Shaw LLP (advisors to Waddesdon).