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New owner to grow New Zealand wine brands

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
New owner to grow New Zealand wine brands

A suite of award-winning New Zealand brands have today been acquired by leading Australian wine company, Accolade Wines, which plans to use its global reach to grow the brands.

The deal, announced last November pending Overseas Investment Office approval, has been finalised following regulatory approvals, and includes the Mud House, Waipara Hills, Dusky Sounds, Haymaker and Skyleaf brands and their assets and operation of Waipara Hills cellar door and café.

Accolade Wines General Manager Asia Pacific, Michael East, said the company had been keen to enhance its portfolio of New World wine brands and had been looking for brands which would complement its existing portfolio for some time.

“These brands are outstanding and cover varietals from key regions such as Marlborough for Sauvignon Blanc, Central Otago for Pinot Noir and aromatics from the Waipara Valley including Riesling and Pinot Gris,” Mr East said.

He said the purchase would cement Accolade’s global strategy of delivering a full service New World wine proposition across the value, mid-market and premium categories.

Accolade Wines will be retaining the New Zealand team, headed by Mr MJ Loza, (who will be General Manager of Accolade Wines in New Zealand), along with key personnel including winemakers, viticulturalists, and equally crucially will be taking on existing growers/suppliers.

Mr Loza said it was an important opportunity for the NZ business which would now have the backing of a very experienced global operator with plans to grow the brands in key markets such as the United Kingdom, the United States and Asia.

“We will essentially be the same team, the same winemakers, the same viticulturalists and importantly the same growers, and now also with the backing of a company that goes back over a hundred years, and has an export heartbeat.

“New Zealand consumers are familiar with our brands, and Accolade’s brands including Hardys and Banrock Station. We’re now working with Accolade so that Mud House and Waipara Hills will have access to the export customer base in 100 countries that Accolade has grown over the past 160 years.

“Existing distributor relationships for the suite of Mud House brands and Accolade brands in New Zealand will not change,” Mr Loza said.

Accolade Wines New Zealand Ltd, trading as Accolade Wines, takes ownership of the New Zealand brands and their assets from April 1, 2014.

-END-

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