Details surface on buyer of Wine Advocate stake

Soo Hoo Khoon Peng is the newest owner of the Wine Advocate, report blogger Vincent Pousson and They point to email received from sources close to the transaction saying that he led a syndicate of buyers to pay $15 million for an undisclosed stake in the company. Soo Hoo, listed as vice president at Detsche Bank on his LinkedIn profile (and on his Facebook page, which has now been removed despite frequent updates prior to Monday), was a co-founder and director at Hermitage Wines, an importer and retailer. Pousson and Decanter report that the email says he divested himself of the Hermitage stake last month.

In his announcing of the transaction, Robert Parker had described the buyers as “totally independent of the wine industry.” He also noted that the Wine Advocate headquarters would continue to be in Maryland. Decanter quotes the email as saying that Singapore is the new “command and control” of the Wine Advocate.

Hermitage Wines has organized events for various wine world luminaries, including Robert Parker at the three-day “Ultimate Parker in Asia” event in 2010. “Parker is god when it comes to wine, nobody in any business is as influential as he is,” Hermitage co-founder Arnaud Compas was quoted in the Reuters story at the time. “He has vision, the ability to anticipate how a wine will develop, and he has always been spot on, which sets the benchmark for prices. Because of that, Robert Parker has created fortunes.”

After several days, there was no reply to an email to Soo Hoo seeking verification of his role in the transaction.

Related:; “Singapore sling” at WineDiarist; previous

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7 Responses to “Details surface on buyer of Wine Advocate stake”

  1. Tyler, Confucius say don’t trust man who take from swamp ground and give 99 Points.
    Mr. Parker stated on his Board yesterday as follows”
    someone else said it best….at the end of the day…it is always about QUALITY…and THE WINES…..all the other nonsense is usually white noise…deliver the best and most independent information in the world on a consistent basis, and you could live in Borneo or Yemen and be a success….well maybe less so in Yemen…but it begins and ends with QUALITY….having a SECOND office in one of the most dynamic cities and markets in the world-Singapore, is extra special…building on a very strong USA market with additional attention to Asia is just smart business…I started going to ASIA in 1998…every year 2-3 weeks…worked my ass off over there like I do in Europe and here…the entire thing makes great business sense…and did I say…I am still a very important owner, CEO and Chairman of the Board…we are going to rock the world…”

    I am still a very important owner??? WTF does that mean? CEO and Chairman I can understand. It really doesn’t matter to me anymore since he and his palate have become totally useless and unreliable to me but this should be fun to watch as it unravels.

  2. We’ve been bashing Parker for how long especially in the Wine nerd commmunity? and yet he continues on, doing what he does because well he does what he doesn, I mean us nerds will drink our Jura Sparkling while he drinks his [what Champagne does he like?] and he’ll be find, and well I think we will be find and yet bitch? at the end of the day there are people who will connect with him and ones who do not.

    Whatever, wine is my glass empty…wait why is my bottle empty…DAMNIT!

  3. Hi Jack – Thanks for stopping by with that update from eBob. Yes, that is a funny turn of phrase. Perhaps he is underscoring that he is still an owner and that he didn’t sell a 100% stake?

    Weston – if I interpret you correctly, you are advocating a live and let live approach. That’s fine by me–I wish Parker and the new stakeholders well. I just don’t understand why the rollout of the announcement exhibited so little coordination since the transaction had been apparently been months in the making.

  4. I just checked the LinkedIn page I referenced in the post and, surprisingly, it has vaporized. It wasn’t as active as Soo Hoo’s now-defunct Facebook page; here’s a screenshot nonetheless.

  5. Easy enough to read between the lines… ‘still a very important owner’ = minority shareholder.

  6. Parker’s shuck and jive is so sloppy. He’s evasive, his writers respond with straight boilerplate, he contradicts himself at almost every turn, his new partners and editor contradict him…any wonder why he hasn’t engendered trust? And then he bitches about people questioning him? What a doofus.

  7. […] Details emerge here, courtesy of Decanter via Dr. […]


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