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Constellation renamed Accolade Wines after takeover

Constellation Wines Australia and Europe has been renamed Accolade Wines by its new owner, Sydney-based Champ Private Equity, which has now completed its AU$290 million purchase of an 80% stake in the company.

Brands within the Accolade portfolio include Australian heavyweights Hardys and Banrock Station, Kumala and Fish Hoek from South Africa and US brand Echo Falls.

Chief executive Troy Christensen and his management team remain in situ at the renamed company.

Christensen said: “The management team is looking forward to working with the
new owners, who are bringing open mindedness, fresh energy and an expansive approach to the business.

“Management and Champ consider the new name to be consistent with their aspirations for the future of the company.”

John Haddock, managing director of Champ, said the new name signalled an intention to pursue high standards.

“Whatever Accolade Wines produces or sells should be deserving of merit,” he said.

“Champ wants Accolade Wines to win praise from everyday consumers and from its business partners for the wines and services it provides.”   

Constellation Wines Australia and Europe will officially become Accolade Wines from 1 July this year. Until that date the company will continue trading under its existing business names Constellation Wines Australia, Constellation Wines Europe and Constellation Wines Australia and Europe.

Haddock admitted Champ was entering the wine industry at a fairly tricky time, but remains confident that the strength of Accolade’s portfolio puts the company in a healthy position.

“I think everyone knows there are a number of challenges facing the wine industry but it’s an important industry and we will be enthusiastic advocates for it,” he said.

“We see Accolade Wines as a company with strong fundamentals, a sound competitive position, a capacity to grow and an opportunity to re-invigorate its brands.

“Accolade Wines will work with Constellation Brands, which retains a 20% holding in the new entity, to distribute and supply each other’s products globally.”

Alan Lodge, 01.02.2011

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