The fine wine merchant, Sarment, which is dubbed as “Asia’s fastest growing luxury wine and spirits business”, is shutting down its business in mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan, less than two years after it was sold to Paolo Bulgari.
The shocking news was announced this morning over a zoom call to employees, according to credible sources, and a follow-up Q & A session will be conducted on April 9 this Friday.
In reply to Vino Joy News, Mario Aron, CEO of Sarment, confirmed the devastating news. “Yes, we announced today that the business is winding down at the request of the majority shareholder. It will take some time, probably 6 months to complete this move across all jurisdictions,” he said.
When asked about the future of Sarment employees and the wine brands in its portfolio, Aron said the staff will be taken care of “as per contract and labour law guidance” before adding “the wine brands will move on”.
The fine wine merchant is the exclusive distributor for both Champagne Henri Giraud and Italian wine brand, Podernuovo a Palazzone, in addition to some 130 wine and sake brands it represents in its wine portfolio.
Aron himself has tendered resignation in February and told Vino Joy News that he will start a new position starting from next Monday.
Sarment has historically leaned heavily on on-trade channels, but last year’s pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to the company, some industry insiders speculated.
Founded in 2009, Sarment is known for its fine wine portfolio and its expansive on-trade distribution network. The wine merchant prides itself as “Asia’s fastest growing luxury wine and spirits business” providing ‘art de la table’ products and services to trade customers, private clients and corporate enterprises in the luxury community.
It has offices in mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. The company was sold in 2019 to El Greco Holding, which is owned by Paolo Bulgari from the luxury Bulgari family.
At the time, the Bulgari heir commented: “I am very satisfied with this deal, as it will allow Sarment to further grow its fine wine and spirits business which is already strong in China and in the Eastern hemisphere, to consolidate and to focus future efforts and investments in this segment”.
More to follow….