Australia: Accolade Wines buys competitor Fine Wine Partners

Australian wine producer Accolade Wines announced today that it will acquire Fine Wine Partners (FWP) from Japanese-owned food and beverage company Lion. The transaction has been estimated to value around A$100 million ($76 million).

After the transaction, Accolade will have control of FWP’s brands including Petaluma and Croser in the Adelaide Hills, St Hallett in the Barossa Valley, Knappstein in the Clare Valley, Tatachilla at McLaren Vale and Stonier on the Mornington Peninsula.

The sale also entails Lion’s four Australian wineries, including plant and equipment, land and vineyards, inventory, and distribution network.

“Lion has a range of competing opportunities for investment in its core categories of beer and cider and has been unable to prioritise the investment required to grow Fine Wine Partners to a size justifying its fixed cost base,” Lion chief executive Stuart Irvine said, as quoted by the Australian.

“With the improvement in market conditions we have come to the decision that this is the right time to realise a fair price for the business.”

Accolade is 80 per cent owned by CHAMP Private Equity. The company has a large commercial wine operation at the lower end of the market, and has made several acquisitions in the past five years at the premium end of the sector to rebalance its portfolio.

“Over the last five years, we have experienced significant growth and expanded our global footprint through the acquisition of Geyser Peak in the United States, Grant Burge Wines in Australia, Mud House in New Zealand and Vina Anakena in Chile,” said Accolade Wines deputy chief executive Michael East.

“The acquisition of the FWP business and brands will strategically enhance Accolade Wines product leadership, complementing our current brand portfolio, while integrating seamlessly into our business model,” he added.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.