: FirstGrowth unit to launch Silva Bay wine Webstore
First Growth unit to launch Silva Bay wine Web store
2014-12-04 10:08 ET - News Release
Mr. Paul Guedes reports
WINEONLINE ESTABLISHES PRESENCE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
First Growth Holdings Ltd. and its wholly owned subsidiary, WineOnline Silva Bay Services Ltd., have entered into an operating agreement with Silva Bay Pub, Restaurant & Liquor Store Ltd. Subsequently, the parties expect that the WineOnline website will launch in British Columbia in early 2015, providing B.C. wine lovers access to its unique portfolio of wines, incredible on-line wine experience and great door-to-door customer service.
"Establishing the WineOnline website in B.C. is an exciting milestone for our team," said Paul Guedes, president of First Growth. "WineOnline is making significant progress in becoming a national e-commerce wine site addressing the majority of the wine customers of Canada."
Under the agreement, WineOnline Silva Bay receives the sole and exclusive right to operate the Silva Bay liquor store and launch the on-line operations in B.C., and is entitled to full profits and bears full responsibility for the on-line operations. In consideration, the owner shall receive a cash consideration payable in tranches over a one-year period, 200,000 common shares of First Growth and a performance fee based on operations.
The recent approval from the B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Branch on its application to become the third party operator of the Silva Bay liquor store allows WineOnline Silva Bay to operate both the store and its e-commerce website in the province.
B.C. ranks the third in wine sales across Canada, with residents buying just under $1-billion worth of wine in 2013-14 ($962,664,000). Wine sales have increased approximately 16 per cent, or $136-million, over the last five years, indicating a strong and vibrant sector. Traditionally, almost all wine sales in the province have been through bricks and mortar stores, as the on-line wine retail sector in B.C. is still in its infancy and Canadian on-line wine sales are lagging behind other regions globally.
WineOnline Silva Bay intends to change this by providing wine lovers in B.C., and across Canada, with its unique selection of wonderful wines that typically cannot be found elsewhere in the province, great customer experience, and home or office delivery that has been developed through a decade of on-line wine sales in Ontario.
"For years, our friends in B.C. have been asking us to bring to them the same incredible on-line wine experience we have curated here Ontario. We are very excited to finally be able to do so, and with the launch of our new website in B.C. in early 2015, we are looking forward to becoming a major part of the province's wine community," stated Aaron Bick, co-founder and general manager of WineOnline Silva Bay.
Finder's fees may be paid by the company or WineOnline Silva Bay, as applicable, in connection with the agreement in accordance with the rules of the TSX Venture Exchange.
FIRST GROWTH AND WINEONLINE ANNOUNCE ACQUISITION OF A ROYAL LIQUOR MERCHANT LOCATION IN CALGARY
First Growth Holdings Ltd. and its wholly owned subsidiary, WineOnline Alberta Ltd., have purchased Royal Liquor Merchants' downtown Calgary retail liquor store, located near the city's core on 4th St. SW. The store will be rebranded as the WineOnline website, establishing a strong presence in Alberta.
"We have been evaluating opportunities that fit with our overall growth strategy in Alberta for several months now, and I am happy to report that we have now found a great business in a great location," said Paul Guedes, president of First Growth. "The acquisition of this Royal Liquor Merchants store, located in the downtown core, not only allows First Growth to expand the [WineOnline website] platform in Alberta but will contribute substantially to the revenue of WineOnline in Canada."
Having operated at this location since 1994 when the Alberta government first privatized the store, Royal Liquor Merchants has established a strong customer base within the downtown community. "Through this purchase, WineOnline will acquire an established in-store and thriving office delivery business that dovetails perfectly with WineOnline's strategy, the addition of this business not only represents a near doubling of revenue in Canada but also a strong market entry accelerant," said WineOnline co-founder and general manager Aaron Bick. "I'm excited to have a ready audience to introduce our selection of unique and wonderful wines to."
Alberta is Canada's fourth-largest wine market by sales and is growing at a steady, sustainable pace. Wine sales in Alberta grew by 26 per cent during the five-year period to 2013, when they reached nearly $495-million. While the wine market in Calgary is competitive and established, the WineOnline website looks forward to building on the success of the existing store by offering a unique selection of wines that previously have not been available in the province, a superior on-line wine experience and incredible customer service.
This acquisition, along with the recently announced third party operator status granted to WineOnline Silva Bay Services Ltd. to operate the Silva Bay liquor store in British Columbia, means that First Growth, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, is now selling wine directly to consumers in three of the four largest provincial markets: Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. WineOnline is also operating as an agent in Quebec listing select products to the SAQ (Societe des alcools du Quebec).
In addition, subject to regulatory approval, the company will pay a finder's fee in accordance with the rules and regulations of the TSX Venture Exchange.
Further to First Growth Holdings Ltd.'s news release this morning on the acquisition of the Royal Liquor Merchant store located on 4th Street SW in Calgary, it was stated that the purchase represents a near doubling of revenue for Canada. For further clarification, First Growth's annual revenue as per its year-end audited financial statements dated June 30, 2014, was approximately $1.85-million. The annual revenue of the Royal Liquor Merchant as per its unaudited financial statements dated Oct. 31, 2014, was approximately $1.78-million.