Accolade Wines has reached agreement with its lenders on a recapitalisation plan which will see Australian Wine Holdco Limited (AWL) – a consortium of institutional investors – take equity ownership of the troubled company.
The American based Carlyle Group bought Accolade wines for $1 billion in 2018.
AWL comprises funds backed by existing Accolade financial partners Bain Capital Special Situations, Intermediate Capital Group, Capital Four, Sona Asset Management and Samuel Terry Asset Management.
The recapitalisation plan will not result in any immediate changes to Accolade’s operations, employee numbers or relationships with customers and suppliers.
The recapitalisation plan, which is expected to be completed by mid-year, will result in a substantial reduction in Accolade’s total senior interest-bearing debt.
A corresponding reduction in annual interest expense and additional funding from each of AWL’s investors will provide greater operational flexibility to invest in the growth of the business for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Accolade Wines CEO Robert Foye said: “This agreement is great news for Accolade, our customers, our suppliers and our people.
“Like all Australian winemakers, we have been hit by a number of challenging macro-economic and industry headwinds in recent years.
“Despite our strong stable of brands and leadership positions in key markets, as well as operational measures taken to strengthen the business, our ability to respond to these challenges and grow has been hampered by an unsustainable balance sheet.
“With this recapitalisation and the support of our new shareholders, we will be ideally positioned to take advantage of the significant opportunities to meet customer demand and grow sales around the world.”
An AWL spokesperson said: “Accolade Wines has a long, proud Australian history as a world-class wine producer and we hope it will remain so for many decades to come.
“We hope this restructure will build a more secure long-term future of the business.
“We will be working with and supporting Accolade’s management to focus on operations and stakeholders.”