US private equity investor acquires Accolade Wines for A$1 billion

13 Jun 2018

The Carlyle Group has acquired South Australian wine company Accolade Wines for A$1 billion.

The sale was completed as a two-part purchase from Sydney-based private equity group CHAMP Private Equity, which owned 80% of Accolade, and US liquor company Constellation Brands, which owned 20%.

Accolade Wines is the world's fifth largest wine company by volume. It represents more than 50 labels, including the UK’s number one selling Australian brand Hardys, and premium wines such as Grant Burge, St Hallett, Petaluma and Arras. The company has a presence in 20 of Australia’s wine regions in Western Australia, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania and employs 1,550 people internationally.

In a Carlyle Group media release, David Bluff, Managing Director says the company sees significant growth potential for Accolade Wines in major wine markets.

‘With our expertise in the consumer sector and access to a global network, we look forward to working with the management team to support the company’s Asia growth strategy and the continued development of its business,’ he says.

The deal comes as Australian wine exports to China, Australia’s biggest wine market, increased by 64% to A$931.7 million in the year ending 31 March 2018.[1]

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[1]  Wine Australia, Australian wine export market snapshot – China, PR – year ended March 2018. Prepared April 2018, updated quarterly.