Southern Acquires Lauber Imports, Forming Southern Wine & Spirits of New Jersey



For Immediate Release

Contact: Wayne E. Chaplin
             President & Chief Operating Officer
             Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.

Telephone: (305) 625-4171

SOUTHERN WINE & SPIRITS OF AMERICA, INC. AGREES TO ACQUIRE LAUBER IMPORTS, INC., FORMING
SOUTHERN WINE & SPIRITS OF NEW JERSEY

MARK LAUBER TO BE APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF LAUBER DIVISION

LATEST MOVE WILL STRENGTHEN  SWS’S FINE WINE PRESENCE IN NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY AND PENNSYLVANIA MARKETS

SOUTHERN WINE & SPIRITS OF NEW YORK’S LARRY GOODRICH, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT/GENERAL MANAGER
              AND JAMES C. ALLEN, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT/GENERAL MANAGER-WINES TO WORK CLOSELY WITH ED AND MARK LAUBER

     MIAMI - February 2, 2005 - In an acquisition designed to strengthen its fine wine presence in the Northeast, Mr. Wayne E. Chaplin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., Miami, Florida, the country’s largest wine and spirits distributor with operations in 12 states, announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Lauber Imports, Inc., a leading Somerville, New Jersey-based fine wine importer/distributor operating in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

     Mr. Chaplin said: “The acquisition of Lauber Imports will be a perfect fit for our overall Northeast Strategy, where our goal is to bring a new level of service and professionalism to our on- and off-premise customers and our supplier partners. With this acquisition, we will join together our fine organizations with that of Ed and Mark Lauber of Lauber Imports, both of whom are held in the highest esteem in the wine trade across the Northeast. This new tri-sate fine wine division will be independent, with Mark as President.”

     Mr. Mel Dick, Senior Vice President of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. and President, Wine Division, said: “I have known Mark and Ed for years. There are no two individuals that I hold in higher regard in the world of wine. Their knowledge and integrity is unmatched in the industry. This acquisition gives us the footprint to execute our Fine Wine Strategy, much as we have successfully promoted fine wine sales in markets we proudly serve.”

      Mr. Mark Lauber, who will serve as President of the independent Lauber division, said: “I am extremely excited to be joining  the Southern Wine & Spirits Family as President of its Lauber Division. My Father, Ed, and I look forward to being able to combine Lauber’s strengths and experience with the resources of Southern Wine & Spirits. We are confident that together we will add value to not only our on- and off-premise customers, but to our current and prospective supplier partners.”

     According to Mr. Chaplin, “Mark and Ed will work hand in hand with Larry Goodrich, Executive Vice President-General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of New York and Jim Allen, Executive Vice President-General Manager-Wines of Southern Wine & Spirits of New York to ensure we keep growing this great portfolio of brands.”

      Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor, with operations in 12 states, including: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs more than 8,000 team members.


Posted on Tuesday, June 27, 2006 (Archive on Tuesday, June 27, 2006)
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