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Exporter adds iconic winery to premium wine portfolio
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Exporter adds iconic winery to premium wine portfolio

A Victorian winery and its 150-year-old vineyard have been acquired by a premium wine exporter.

Firms: Barraket Stanton Lawyers (Casella Family Brands); Kain Lawyers with assistance from PRW’s in-house team (Pernod Ricard Winemakers)

Deal: Casella Family Brands (CFB) has acquired a winery and vineyard estate from Pernod Ricard Winemakers (PRW).

Value: Undisclosed

Area: M&A

Key players: Barraket Stanton partner Kenneth Stanton (pictured) led the team advising CFB.

Deal significance:

CFB has acquired an iconic Australian winery from PRW.

Griffith-based CFB purchased the Victorian estate following an announcement that PRW intended to close the winery this month.

Morris Wines has specialised in producing fortified wines for 150 years. The acquisition returns the winery to family ownership, with the retention of fifth-generation chief winemaker David Morris.

CFB has acquired 80 hectares of vineyard estate, the winery, cellar door, the ‘Morris of Rutherglen’ brand, plus stock. The terms of the deal remain confidential.

The acquisition of Morris Wines adds to CFB’s premium wine portfolio, which includes Peter Lehmann Wines in the Barossa Valley, Casella Limited Release and Brand’s Laira from McWilliam’s Wines Group Ltd in the Coonawarra region. Casella Wines is the maker of the biggest-selling wine in Australia, Yellowtail.

In a statement released by CFB, managing director John Casella said opportunity for growth of the wine brand in the premium price segment was apparent.

“I believe the premium fortified category offers growth potential. Casella Family Brands is well placed to invest in developing the Morris of Rutherglen brand,” Mr Casella said.

Commenting on the deal, Barraket Stanton partner Kenneth Stanton said: “The structure of this deal was quite complex, and we’re delighted that we’ve helped build a framework where two like-minded businesses, Casella and Morris Wines, can move forward together.”

Kenneth Stanton

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