Australia's largest wine exporter by volume, Casella family Brands, will offload 35 vineyards after an operational review resulted in a decision to focus on brand building rather than vineyard ownership.
Owner of wine brand juggernauts [yellow tail] and Peter Lehmann Wines, Casella is Australia's largest family-owned winery, with the sale covering more than 7258 hectares of its vineyards in South Australia and New South Wales.
Casella managing director John Casella said the decision was about focusing the business on long-term success, with funds from the sales being put back into the group’s brands and wineries.
“We are forecasting future growth due to ongoing investment in our brands supported by a strategic innovation pipeline. The company is in a sound financial position, having recently experienced global record sales for [yellow tail] during Covid,” Casella said.
[yellow tail] accounts for around 17 per cent of all Australian exported wine.
Colliers has been engaged to manage the sale. Its national director transaction services Agribusiness Tim Altschwager said the sale would be structured as a long-term sale agreement to ensure ongoing supply for its established brands.
Casella said the business would continue to source from grape-growers in the two states and longstanding relationships or contractual agreements not affected.
“We expect there will be a lot of interest in the opportunity to acquire quality vineyards in some of Australia’s most highly regarded wine regions,” Altschwager said.
The process will be undertaken in two stages, with the EOI closing on 8 June, with preferred bidders shortlisted by 10 June. The financial settlement will occur by the end of the calendar year, subject to a due diligence and regulatory approvals.
Details of the partnership agreement include:
- 5650Ha planted vineyards;
- 1608Ha supporting land/property with the vineyards;
- extensive plant and equipment;
- water entitlements;
- long term grape supply agreement with Casella.
Colliers national director transaction services agribusiness, Tim said the strategic partnership presented a unique opportunity to buy into a very successful and well-established agri-business with a mutually beneficial long-term grape supply agreement.