2 Aug 2021

Buyer found for wine giant Villa Maria

11:40 am on 2 August 2021

Marlborough-based wine company Indevin have agreed to buy 100 percent of the company, after its parent FFWL was placed into receivership in May, owing its bankers $212 million.

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

Photo: Unsplash / Kym Ellis

It concludes a nine-month process to find a suitor for the 50-year-old wine company, which had wineries and vineyards in Marlborough, Hawke's Bay and Auckland.

The sale would also include the company's supplier agreements as well as its Esk Valley, Vidal and Leftfield brands.

Indevin chair Greg Tomlinson said adding Villa Maria to its portfolio fits within its long-term growth strategy and would compliment its existing business.

"Our whole business is built around holding and building value for New Zealand vineyards and growers.

"If the conditions of the sale are satisfied, we plan to drive focus and increased investment behind Villa Maria to further enhance its reputation for quality and protect its brand value."

No sale price was given but Australian media had previously reported that a $200m valuation was placed on the company.

Villa Maria chair Malcolm McDougall said it was reassuring that the company would stay in New Zealand hands.

"There is genuine compatibility between the businesses.

"Indevin is a successful operator, it brings a strong supply chain and has established key export markets with contracted long-term partnerships."

Together that's a powerful combination, McDougall said.

FFWL's receivers, Calibre Partners, said it hoped to settle the transaction by the end of August.

Calibre Partners had also entered into a contract to sell 34 hectares of land surrounding Villa Maria's Auckland winery to the listed property company, Goodman Property Trust, for $75 million.

The land had been on the sales block since November.