15 Jun 2021

Scales Corporation pulls out of bid for winemaker Villa Maria

5:37 pm on 15 June 2021

Apple exporter Scales Corporation has pulled out of the bidding for winemaker Villa Maria.

Wine glass on railing, wine, grapes, vines, stock image, generic

The company announced it is no longer participating in the sale process for Villa Maria. (File image) Photo: Unsplash / Kym Ellis

A month ago, the company confirmed it had been a potential bidder as Villa Maria's parent company was placed into receivership.

However, in a brief statement Scales said its interest was over.

"Scales Corporation Limited today announces that it is no longer participating in the sale process for Villa Maria," a company statement to the NZX said.

It gave no other comment except to say that the costs incurred would be accounted in its half-year results, and it reaffirmed its previous forecast of underlying earnings of between $46.5 million and $53.5m.

Villa Maria's parent, FFWL, was put in receivership in May. Although the winemaker itself was not affected with the receivers, and the company's domestic and international business was trading profitably.

One of the receivers, Brendon Gibson of Calibre Partners, told RNZ at the time that receivership would be one way of bringing the sales process and Villa Maria's need for a new investor to a conclusion.

A price tag of about $200m has been touted for the company, with other potential buyers suggested including rival wine company NZX-listed Delegat, privately owned Indevin New Zealand, as well as Australian private equity companies.

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