A rare opportunity to enter the wine grape-growing industry has come to market with the Casella family seeking a strategic partner to own and operate a significant proportion of its vineyard portfolio in South Australia and the Riverina region (NSW). The vineyards will be sold in one line.
Casella today announced it has engaged Colliers’ Tim Altschwager and Nick Dean to launch an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the vineyard holdings and associated land/property, covering a total of 7258Ha across 35 properties in South Australia and NSW.
The proposed sale includes a selection of premier vineyards located in Australia’s renowned wine regions, including the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Langhorne and Currency Creek, Limestone Coast, and the Riverina. A long-term sale agreement will ensure Casella retains the wine grapes from these vineyards to ensure ongoing supply for its established brands. Some Casella-owned vineyards located in the Riverina and Barossa are not included.
The company will continue to source from grape-growers across NSW and South Australia, and the intended sale will not impact these longstanding relationships or contractual agreements in place.
The process will be undertaken in two stages, with the EOI closing on Wednesday 8 June at 12 PM before shortlisting preferred bidders by COB Friday 10 June. The financial settlement will occur by the end of the calendar year, subject to a period of confirmatory due diligence and regulatory approvals. Details of the partnership agreement include:
- 5650Ha planted vineyards
- 1608Ha supporting land/property with the vineyards
- Extensive plant and equipment
- Water entitlements
- Long term grape supply agreement with Casella
Commenting on the proposed sale, Tim Altschwager, National Director Transaction Services Agribusiness, at Colliers, said the strategic partnership presented a unique opportunity to buy into a very successful and well-established agri-business with a mutually beneficial long-term grape supply agreement.
“We expect there will be a lot of interest in the opportunity to acquire quality vineyards in some of Australia’s most highly regarded wine regions.”
John Casella said the EOI followed an extensive review of operations, noting the decision aligns with a strategic objective to focus resources on setting the business up for long-term success. In line with this, proceeds from a successful sale will be reinvested to support the growth of the company’s wineries and wine brands in the domestic and international markets.
“The company is in a sound financial position, having recently experienced global record sales for [yellow tail] during the COVID-19 pandemic. While demand has stabilised, we are forecasting future growth due to ongoing investment in our brands supported by a strategic innovation pipeline. The intended strategic partnership will allow us to focus on strengthening our brands globally, and therefore deliver positive outcomes for the Australian wine industry.”
Casella Family Brands is Australia’s largest family-owned winery and Australia’s largest exporter by volume. Its flagship brand [yellow tail] accounts for approximately 17% of all Australian exported wine and has been awarded the world’s number 1 Most Powerful Wine Brand for four years in a row by Wine Intelligence’s Brand Power Index.