Constellation sell-off is good sign, says Australian Vintage chief
Published:  18 February, 2011

McGuigan wine producer Australian Vintage says the sale of Constellation’s Australian and European businesses to private equity firm Champ is positive news for the industry.?Australian Vintage had discussed merging its Australian and UK operations with those of Constellation until talks broke down last April.?Commenting on the Champ deal and recent private equity investment in Treasury Wine Estates, Australian Vintage chairman Ian Ferrier said: “We see this interest from a financial investor in the wine sector as a positive sign.?“It demonstrates a level of conviction that wine is fundamentally an attractive business.”

He added that Australian Wine producers were well placed to benefit from recovery and growth in the global wine market, and that the country’s wine is growing in popularity. Ferrier was speaking as Australian Vintage reported a 112% increase in profits before significant items in the half-year to December 31, and 19% growth in export sales of bottled wine.?Ferrier said conditions in the UK market remained “challenging”.

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