Constellation sale 'positive' says AV chief

07 February, 2011

McGuigan wine producer Australian Vintage says the sale by Constellation of its Australian and European businesses of to private equity firm Champ is positive news for the industry.

Australian Vintage was itself in talks about a merger of its Australian and UK operations with those of Constellation until talks broke down last April.

Commenting on both the Champ deal and recent private equity investment in Treasury Wine Estates, Australian Vintage chairman Ian Ferrier said: “We see this interest from financial investor in the wine sector as a positive sign.

“It demonstrates a level of conviction that wine is fundamentally an attractive business and that Australian wine producers are well-placed to participate in medium-term upside from an improving global wine cycle and structural growth, driven by the increasing popularity of Australian wine.”

Ferrier was speaking as Australian Vintage reported a 112% increase in profits before significant items in the half-year to December 31, and a 19% growth in export sales of bottled wine.

Ferrier said conditions in the UK market remained “challenging”.

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