Accolade Wines has agreed to acquire Lion’s Australian premium wine business, Fine Wine Partners (FWP).
“FWP is a quality fine wine business offering exposure to the attractive and growing premium wine segment in desirable viticultural regions. However, following a comprehensive strategic review it became clear that considerable investment would be required to grow FWP to scale,” a Lion statement said.
Lion CEO Stuart Irvine said: “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.
“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.
“I would like to thank all those who have worked incredibly hard to make Fine Wine Partners such a quality business under Lion’s ownership. We will work with Accolade Wines and our people to ensure a carefully managed transition in ownership.”
The sale includes FWP’s six Australian fully-owned brands Petaluma, Croser, St Hallett, Knappstein, Stonier and Tatachilla, its four Australian wineries, including all plant and equipment, land and vineyards, inventory and the on-and-off-premise distribution network.
The sale price and the specific terms and conditions are confidential.
A six-month transition has been agreed to ensure an orderly change of ownership for all stakeholders.
Lion will retain its wine businesses in both New Zealand and the United States given the importance of those assets for its New Zealand domestic business and its plans to grow its presence in the international alcohol market via Lion Global Markets.