Accolade Wines owner mulls IPO

The owner of the UK’s largest drinks company, Accolade Wines, is looking at listing the company on the London stock exchange as it gets ready to offload its 80% stake in the business, an Australian newspaper claims.

Paul Schaafsma, CEO of Accolade Wines

The Australian Financial Review has claimed Accolade Wines’ owners, Champ PE, which bought the global wine company in 2010 for AUS $290 million, has signed up several high level investment banks to investigate its potential exit options. This could include an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange, a listing the Australian Stock Exchange or a “trade sale”, it said.

It reported the London listing was the favoured option for the wine company, given Accolade’s size and market share of its UK business, but that it was still “early in the process”.

Accolade is one of the largest global wine industries, with sales of Aus $1b (£483m) annually, delivering more than 35million cases of wine to more than 143 countries.

Its brands include some of the largest wine brands on the UK market, including market leader Hardys, Echo Falls and Kumala, as well as more recent acquisitions, Geyser Peak from California, New Zealand brand Mud House and Chilean brand, Viña Anakena. The company also has the capability to do private and own label wines from its Bristol bottling plant, Accolade Park, and in October 2013 signed a three year business plan with Tesco. In December, CEO Paul Schaafsma told db its aims was become the “one-stop shop for New World wines“.

Db contacted Accolade’s CEO Paul Schaafsma but he was unavailable for comment.

The news comes a week after the UK drinks industry was rocked by the surprise sale of Bibendum PLB to Conviviality Retail, which has created a company with an annual turnover of around £1.4 billion, and an 8% share of the UK market. Speculation about other possible mergers and acquisition were  also rife after reports emerged last month that Spain’s biggest Cava producer, Freixenet, has received a buyout offer, with German drinks group Henkell & Co. also confirming it was in preliminary talks with the Catalan company over a possible “co-operation”.


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