The future of Garvey is still uncertain, but what seems apparent is that the investment company Promontoria BBE is interested in the brands and assets of the bodega. The latter has been a problem, however as ownership is scattered, and potential buyers would have to negotiate with all the individual owners to buy machinery, equipment, stocks (owned by the receivers) and the brands. Promontoria already have a mortgage on the buildings and land.
Negotiations are at an advanced stage, and the plan is to reassemble all the parts of Garvey under one owner and re-float it for its later sale as a going concern. If all goes well, this could be in about a month’s time.
The receivers also wish to sell off Zoilo Ruiz Mateos, another ex Rumasa bodega which is in receivership and which has the winemaking and bottling contract for the Sandeman brand. ZRM owns the Sandeman bodegas and vineyards.
|The Complejo Bellavista, Jerez (foto:diariodejerez)|
The whole affair is very complex and there are many questions in the air which are causing worry in the Sherry trade. People wonder what the Ruiz Mateos family might have gained from the sale of the brand names; why did Promontoria not negotiate directly with the brand owners and instead resort to an intermediary?
The Court embargo on the brand names prevented their use by anyone other than Bellavista (Garvey), thus tying the hands of the Ruiz Mateos so that sooner or later the brands would have become part of the receivership and the amount paid for them would go to the creditors. The Garvey executive who managed to secure the brands will be able to use them as a lever to keep his job with the new company.
Promontoria – which has some link to Banco Santander – could not really have negotiated directly with the Belize company about the brands because of the latter’s poor relations with the Santander who cut off funding, bringing about the receivership.