Accolade Wines moves closer to listing

The owner of Accolade Wines has confirmed its intent to offload its majority interest in the wine giant as it moves towards an initial public offering on the Stock Exchange.

The Hardys team celebrates its sponsorship of English cricket

Hardys is an official sponsors of English cricket

In May, an Australian newspaper claimed private equity firm Champ PE was mulling launching an IPO for the Australian drinks company, a move confirmed last week then the company formally appointed Reunion Capital Partners as corporate advisors to investigate its options.

At the time The Australian Financial Review claimed London was the preferred option for the listing, given Accolade’s size and share of the UK business, but a spokesman for Champ PE this week confirmed to db it was very early days in the listing process and no decision had been made as to whether it would be listed in London or in Australia. Both were possible depending on the potential from strategic investors in the market and where the most investor interest came from.

“It depends on a lot of things including the state of the market in that country and the shape of the potential investors,” he said. “But it is very early days so there is a long way to go and a lot of things are unknown.”

Champ, who acquired the two businesses that became Accolade Wines from Constellation Brands in February 2011, intends to list the company in the first half of 2017.

Last week Champ’s chief executive John Haddock told The Australian Financial Review the company was performing strongly following significant capital investment in its brands and facilities and he was proud of what they had done.

“We have been able to grow this business by investment in it,” he said. “It has the ability to produce good quality wine for the mainstream at a low cost.”

Brexit, he added was “an opportunity” as it potentially lowered costs and provided a “much better natural hedge”.

In March, the company opened a new £8.5m bottling-line at Accolade Park in Bristol, which is Europe’s largest wine warehouse and distribution centre.

Accolade has grown to become one of the largest global wine industries, with sales of Aus $1b (£483m) per annum. Its brands include Hardys, Echo Falls, Kumala, Banrock Station, and more recent acquisitions Viña Anakena from Chile and new Zealand’s Mud House.

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