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Local firm advises on private equity wine acquisition
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Local firm advises on private equity wine acquisition

At a time when the high Australian dollar is pricing local wines out of their key export markets, a private equity firm has bought some of the world's biggest labels.

AT a time when the high Australian dollar is pricing the country’s wines out of their key export markets, a private equity firm has bought some of the world’s biggest labels.

Constellation Brands, Inc, a leading premium wine company, has completed the sale of its Australian and U.K. business to CHAMP Private Equity.

Announced in December 2010, CHAMP’s acquisition from Constellation Brands Inc. is valued at approximately A$290 million.

The company will retain about 20 per cent interested in the business and receive cash proceeds of about $230 million.

Constellation Brands, with labels such as Hardy’s Houghtons, Leasingham and Banrock Station, was advised by law firm Thomsons Lawyers. The firm acted on all aspects of due diligence.

The Thomsons Lawyers team was led by partner Loretta Reynolds and senior associate Jason Marcus.

The firm previously acted for the client in relation to its proposed merger with Australian Vintage Limited, which did not proceed.

Constellation Brands has been renamed Accolade Wines in the acquisition.

CHAMP managing director, John Haddock, said “everyone knows” there are challenges facing the wine industry. “But it’s an important industry and we will be enthusiastic advocates for it.”

“We see Accolade Wines as a company with strong fundamentals, a sound competitive position, a capacity to grow and an opportunity to re-invigorate its brands.”


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