• Conviviality reshapes executive board following acquisitions
  • Matthew Clark boss Mark Aylwin becomes managing director of Conviviality Direct
  • Premier Foods Jennifer Laing joins board as a non-executive director
  • Conviviality hopes to complete acquisition of Bibendum

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality has reshaped its senior leadership team following the acquisition of drinks wholesaler Matthew Clark.

Mark Aylwin, who joined Conviviality in January this year as managing director of Matthew Clark, will become managing director of Conviviality Direct, which oversees its wholesale businesses. 

Conviviality said Aylwin had been “instrumental” in helping the group “realise benefits from the Matthew Clark acquisition”, which was completed last year in a £200m deal.

The wine specialist is also poised to complete the acquisition of Bibendum in a £60m deal, which is conditional on the company’s general meeting on May 19.

Conviviality, which also owns Wine Rack, said the deal worth £60m will push its group annual sales to about £1.4bn and boost its position in the premium drinks market.

Aylwin has worked in the food and drinks industry for more than 35 years and has held senior positions at Booker Group, Blueheath and Safeway.

Conviviality chairman David Adams said: “Mark has been a great addition to the management team since he joined Conviviality in January 2016 and I look forward to continuing to benefit from his experience as the group develops.”

Conviviality has also appointed Premier Foods non-executive Jennifer Laing as a non-executive director.

She currently serves as chairman of Premier’s remuneration committee, a position she has held for four years. Laing previously spent 10 years at InterContinental Hotels Group and 16 years with Saatchi & Saatchi, where she held several senior positions including chief executive and chairman of North America.

Adams added: “I am delighted to welcome Jennifer to our board as non-executive director. Jennifer’s in-depth knowledge of branding, marketing and advertising, as well as her experience on the board of a global hotel group with a large franchisee base, further diversifies the board’s skill set.

“We look forward to her insight as we continue to grow both our franchisee network and our on-trade business, and become a more valuable partner to our suppliers in promoting their brands across the UK.”

Earlier this year, Conviviality reported a 2.8% increase in pre-tax profit before exceptionals in its half year, despite a like-for-like decline of 1.3%.