Martignetti to buy United, leaving just 2 liquor giants
By Chris Reidy, Globe Staff | August 4, 2006
The Martignetti family, whose wine and spirits empire includes distributorships and retail stores, has agreed to buy United Liquors Ltd. , the distributor business built up by prominent philanthropist A. Raymond Tye , for an undisclosed amount
``A preliminary agreement has been reached," the two companies said in a joint statement relayed by Pamela McDermott, president of McDermott Ventures, a Boston public relations firm that represents both companies.
Executives at the two companies declined to be interviewed. McDermott would not discuss the possibility of layoffs.
Officials in the restaurant and package store industries say there are three big wholesalers in the state: United, Horizon Beverage Co. of Avon, and Martignetti, with ``Martignetti rapidly gaining," said Roger Berkowitz, chief executive of the Legal Sea Foods restaurant chain. ``With Martignetti buying United, they would become the 800-pound gorilla."
In theory, fewer distributors could result in higher prices for package stores, bars, and consumers
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