Tasmanian Vintners has acquired wine and cider producer Winemaking Tasmania, two months after the company entered voluntary administration. It will be renamed as Tasmanian Vintners, with the role of former CEO Jonathon Lord “terminated by the administrators”.
Tasmanian Vintners is 50-50 owned by the Fogarty Wine Group (FWG) and Tasmanian businessman Rod Roberts' family owned company, and will add Winemaking Tasmania to its portfolio of businesses, alongside the Hunter Valley's Lake's Folly and Deep Woods Estate in Margaret River.
“With a strong group of contract customers and fruit growers and the shareholders' own increasing production volumes, together with access to capital, we anticipate Tasmanian Vintners will be one of Tasmania's fastest growing, high quality wine businesses,” said Roberts and FWG chairman Peter Fogarty.
“We're committed to retaining all WT's contract winemaking customers, taking fruit from its existing grower base and working closely with the Tasmanian producers to provide high quality processing and bottling capability in Tasmania.”
WT went into voluntary administration in late May due to cash flow problems and indicated “strong interest” from a number of potential buyers only day after its announcement.
Appointed administrators Pitcher Partners have been responsible for the account and WT's assets, and have also announced WT CEO Jonathon Lord “will not have any further role in the operation of the business.”
“A restructuring associated with the sale will see the departure of the CEO and the head cider maker – however, the jobs of all other Winemaking Tasmania employees are safe,” said Pitcher Partners administrator David Vasudevan.
“I am pleased to confirm that we have been able to preserve the business, and have secured a buyer after an exhaustive assessment and sale process.
“Winemaking Tasmania is a very important part of the State’s wine industry, and we are very happy to have been able to deliver what is an outstanding result for the sector.”
Tasmanian Vintners will continue WT's operation of winemaking, bottling and production services, as well as managing production for 30 boutique wine brands across the state.