Just Wines Acquires and Saves Sans Drinks From Insolvency

Australian Online Retailer, Just Wines, Acquires Non-Alcoholic Drinks Retailer Sans Drinks

Just Wines, an online wine retailer, acquired Sans Drinks, the collapsed non-alcoholic drink specialty store, on August 24, 2023. Both companies are based in New South Wales, Australia. In July 2023, Sans Drinks entered voluntary administration, citing competitive pressures and softening sales, and has since been looking for viable options to continue operations. The AU $1.8 million (USD $1.2 million) deal will keep founder Irene Falcone as a business marketing and strategy consultant. As part of a Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA) proposal, all secured and employee creditors will be paid in full, with unsecured creditors set to receive an estimated 48 cents in the dollar. Payments will be made over the next three months.

Transaction Summary

Our Take on the Acquisition

Just Wines (acquirer) acquired Sans Drinks (target) to expand its portfolio to include non-alcoholic wines and spirits. Since Sans Drinks had gone into voluntary administration, it is likely that Just Wines did not have to pay a premium for the acquisition. Additionally, Just Wines can also utilize Sans Drinks’ distribution network and partnerships to boost their own sales channels and make their operations more efficient.

The Facts of the Acquisition

  • Target: Sans Drinks is a retailer of non-alcoholic wines and spirits. The company serves Australia through its retail store, other distributors, and website. They also ship across Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S. In July 2023, the company entered voluntary administration and has been seeking viable alternatives in order to continue operations.
  • Acquirer: Just Wines is an online wine retailer serving Australia. Since 2012, it has sold over 200,000 wines from more than 1,000 wineries based in Australia and New Zealand.

The Transaction

Date:August 24, 2023
Price:AU $1.8 Million
Purpose: To expand its product portfolio to include non-alcoholic drinks.
Acquirer’s Statement:Nitesh Bhatia, founder of Just Wines – “I’m thrilled that Sans Drinks is now part of the Just Wines family and I’m looking forward to the next chapter for Sans Drinks. Irene [Falcone, CEO and founder of Sans Drinks] has vast experience in marketing and promotion and Just Wines has a strong track record in administration, operations, and managing the supply chain. As the non-alcoholic sector is a real growth area, this will enable Sans Drinks – already the number one retailer in this segment – to grow at a much faster pace.”

Target/Seller: Sans Drinks

Company Information

Target:Sans Drinks
Industry: Non-Alcoholic Beverages Retailer
Employees:7 (Self-published on LinkedIn)
Locations:Head Office and Warehouse: 102 Old Pittwater Rd, Brookvale, New South Wales, Australia

Product Information 

Products:Non-Alcoholic Wines – Non-alcoholic red, white, sparkling, and rosé wines
Non-Alcoholic Spirits – Non-alcoholic gin, whiskey, rum, and tequila
Market Reach:Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States

Financial Information 

Revenue:USD $6.4 million (Source: Smart Company)
Revenue per Employee:USD $920,000 (i.e., USD $6.4 million / 7 employees = USD $920,000 – estimated based on the self-published number of employees and revenue from Smart Company)

Did You Know?

According to the International Wines and Spirits Record (IWSR), 31% of Australian consumers purchase no-alcohol products. As the industry tries to serve this expanding audience, product innovation is helping to encourage category growth. No-alcohol cider and beer drive the most volume growth within the no-alcohol category, currently making up 7 in every 10 no-alcohol drinks consumed. Although growth rates are slowing, the arrival of craft-style operators has made the no-alcohol space more appealing, helping to generate increased investment in the category. Globally, the non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beverage market is valued at USD $22.5 billion and is expected to reach USD $68.9 billion by 2030.

Target/Seller Overview: Sans Drinks

Sans Drinks was launched in 2020 to offer healthier alcohol-free alternatives. The company sells non-alcoholic wines and spirits through a variety of distribution channels, including online, in its retail store, and in partnership with Westfield, a shopping center chain. In July 2023, the company was placed in voluntary administration, and since then, it has been seeking viable ways to continue operating.

Sans Drinks offers a variety of non-alcoholic wines and spirits.

Buyer/Acquirer: Just Wines

Company Information

Buyer:Just Wines
Industry: Alcoholic Beverages Retailer
Employees:25 (Self-published on LinkedIn)
Locations:Head Office: 6 Burilda Close, Wetherill Park, New South Wales, Australia

Product Information 

Products:Sparkling Wines – A carbonated or fizzy wine made from white or red grapes
Red Wines – Wine made from dark-colored grape varieties
White Wine – Wine that is fermented without grape skin
Market Reach:Australia

Financial Information 

Revenue:USD $16.8 million (Unconfirmed source: ZoomInfo)
Revenue per Employee:USD $672,000 (i.e., USD $16.8 million / 25 employees = USD $672,000 – estimated based on the self-published number of employees and revenue from ZoomInfo)

Buyer/Acquirer Overview: Just Wines

Just Wines is an online wine retailer founded by two fellow wine lovers sitting at a workbench in a Warriewood garage in 2012. Since then, it has become one of Australia’s largest online wine retailers. The company attributes its success to having close ties with local producers and supporting the best Australian and New Zealand wineries. It offers over 6,000 wines from 1,000 wineries and has sold more than 200,000 wines to date.

Just Wines offers a wide variety of wines online in Australia.


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