Family-owned winemaker McWilliam’s Wines has entered voluntary administration. The 141-year old company is one of the oldest winemakers in the country and has appointed KPMG as the administrator.

McWilliam’s history covers six generations of the family business, which first started in the Riverina district in southern New South Wales, and today also has assets in the Hunter Valley. The company producer creates its own wines, as well as being the Australian distributor for global brands, such as Champagne Taittinger, Mateus and Henkell.

KPMG Australia restructuring services partner and administrator Gayle Dickerson said the administration process is in its initial phase, with an immediate assessment of the business and its operation its current priority.

“The company will continue to operate as normal and we are working with the McWilliams’ family with the support of its employees while we work hard to try to preserve one of Australia’s oldest winemakers,” said Dickerson.

“We are seeking expressions of interest to recapitalise or acquire the Group to take this heritage brand forward in the future both locally and globally.”

McWilliam’s chairman Jim Brayne said the decision to enter voluntary administration was not made “lightly”.

“A number of factors have contributed to a decline in business performance, including evolving structural market dynamics and capital constraints. We will work closely with the administrator during the process in order to strengthen the prospects of a positive outcome for all involved.”

The first meeting of creditors will be held on 20 January in Sydney.

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