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Yealands Estate Wines and Ager Sectus Wine Estates to merge

Media Release
29 August 2011

Yealands Estate Wines and Ager Sectus Wine Estates to merge

Yealands Estate, New Zealand's leading sustainable wine producer and Ager Sectus, a New Zealand heritage wine company, announced today that operations of the two companies will merge.

Whilst the Yealands Estate and Ager Sectus brands will retain their individual identities and existing distribution networks, the combined entity is now one of the largest privately-owned wine companies in New Zealand, with a global reach of more than 50 international markets.

Peter Yealands, Owner and Chairman of Yealands Estate, says the merged company, which owns in excess of 1,500 hectares of vineyards, will produce high-quality wine from across New Zealand's major wine regions, providing a more diverse and compelling offering.

"We believe that consolidation is the way of the future. To succeed in current market conditions you need a quality-focused, efficient production model and strong distribution networks."

"The merger will put us in a stronger position to take advantage of global distribution opportunities. The scope and scale of the new entity will allow us to invest in additional in-market staff who will work alongside our existing distribution networks. Peter Cutfield and I hold common philosophies on how this will be achieved."

Speaking about the merger, Peter Cutfield, Founder of Ager Sectus, said the two companies had natural synergies.

"Peter Yealands and I have been neighbours for years. The guy is a legend in the industry and we've often had chats over the fence. Over time we found we had more in common than we thought."

"In an increasingly challenging marketplace it makes sense to combine our resources to invest in the development of strong brands. We both have expertise and market experience in complementary areas, which will enable the new entity to start from a position of strength."

The global brands of the combined portfolio will include:

* Yealands Estate, Peter Yealands, Yealands Way, Full Circle, Pete's Shed, Flaxbourne, Violet
* The Crossings, Crossroads Winery, 3 Stones, Braided River and Southbank Estate.

"Having invested heavily in developing strong distribution networks, we believe we are well positioned to take advantage of the strong growth in demand for quality New Zealand wine. We look forward to contributing significantly to the development of the New Zealand wine category internationally," says Peter Yealands.


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