Foley steps up NZ ambitions

21st July, 2014 by Gabriel Stone

US billionaire Bill Foley has raised NZ$10 million (£5.1m) to expand his existing wine business in New Zealand with a particular focus on Martinborough.

Bill Foley, majority-owner of Foley Family Wines

Of the total raised at the end of June by Foley Family Wines (FFW) from a group of institutional investors, $5m will be used to pay off debt from the purchase earlier this year of Martinborough Vineyard Estates and fellow Wairarapa venture the Lighthouse Gin brand.

A further $2m will be spent on improving warehouse facilities at Grove Mill in Marlborough, part of the New Zealand Wine Company, which Foley acquired in 2012.

Meanwhile $2m has been earmarked for a similar upgrade at one of Martinborough’s oldest wineries, Te Kairanga, which has been part of Foley Family Wines since 2011.

Mark Turnbull, CEO of FFW told the New Zealand Herald that the remaining $2m will be “targeted for other projects as they confirm.”

This latest burst of investment in FFW also saw the purchase of a 7.75% stake on 1 July by Auckland based firm Milford Asset Management, which noted the particular appeal of the producer’s strong US distribution base.

As a result, the company confirmed a plan to strengthen its appeal to a broader field of investors, announcing: “With FFW’s increased capital and shareholder base, it now intends to pursue a move from the NZAX (Alternative board) to the NZX main board in the short to medium term.”

In total FFW now owns just under 400 hectares of vineyard across Wairarapa and Marlborough, where the company has had a presence since 2009, when it bought the New Zealand Wine Fund.

Foley’s New Zealand business interests also extend to the restaurant sector in the form of a significant stake in the Nourish Group, which runs a number of outlets across the country, including Crab Shack in Wellington and Jervois Steak House.

Although his core wine interests remain in California, earlier this year Foley made a move into Oregon for the first time with the acquisition of The Four Graces Winery in Willamette Valley.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Sales Manager – Midlands and South West

Pol Roger Portfolio
Midlands and South West

UK Brand Ambassador - That Boutique-y Gin Company

That Boutique-y Gin Company
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Senior National Account Manager – Grocery (Craft Spirits)

Maverick Drinks
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Senior National Account Manager – Wholesale RTM (Craft Spirits)

Maverick Drinks
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Digital Marketing Manager

Master of Malt
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Experienced On Trade Sales Person

Borough Wine Imports
London, GB

3 x Business Development Executive

The Lakes Distillery Company Limited
Newcastle head office and nationwide, UK

Editor

Master of Malt Ltd
Tunbridge Wells(Kent)

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Brand Manager

Hallgarten Druitt
Luton, UK

Experienced On-Trade Salespeople Required

Portal Wines and Spirits
London, UK

Purchasing and Sales (Wine Trader)

JF Tobias
London, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 17th April 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 14th April 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 12th May 2017

Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2016

Now in its fourth year, the competition will identify the best Chardonnay from all around the world in every price range.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

The Global Malbec Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2016.

Click to view more