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Yealands merger creates Kiwi powerhouse

Yealands Estate has announced a merger with wine investment firm Ager Sectus, which will create one of the largest privately owned wine companies in New Zealand.

Although both brands will keep their individual identities, the move gives them a combined total of 1,500 hectares of vineyard and a presence in over 50 markets around the world.

Describing consolidation as “the way of the future,” Peter Yealands, owner and chairman of Yealands Estate in Marlborough, explained: “The merger will put us in a stronger position to take advantage of global distribution opportunities.

“The scope and scale of the new entity will allow us to invest in additional in-market staff who will work alongside our existing distribution networks.”

Peter Cutfield, founder of Wellington-based Ager Sectus and long-term neighbour of Yealands, emphasised the synergies between the two companies. “In an increasingly challenging marketplace it makes sense to combine our resources to invest in the development of strong brands,” he remarked.

“We both have expertise and market experience in complementary areas, which will enable the new entity to start from a position of strength.”

Ager Sectus owns a total of 360ha of vineyards, as well as several wineries, across Hawkes Bay and Marlborough. Yealands Estate has built a strong reputation for environmental sustainability and is the largest winery in New Zealand to hold the country’s CarboNZero certification.

The combined portfolio of wines will continue to be represented by their three existing UK distributors. Ager Sectus brands The Crossings, Crossroads Winery and Southbank Estate are all looked after by Mentzendorff, while its 3 Stones brand will stay with Haywood Bros.

Meanwhile, Yealands Estate is represented by Liberty Wines, whose managing director David Gleave MW said: “This is just the sort of initiative that has seen Yealands become one of the most important Marlborough producers in the UK in the space of three years.

“Their focus on quality, value and sustainability has made Yealands a compelling offering, and I’m certain this new company will be even more compelling.”

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