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Accolade Wines to buy New Zealand wine brands

Accolade Wines has reached an agreement to buy leading New Zealand wine brands Mud House and Waipara Hills from prominent New Zealand winemaker, the Mud House Wine Group.

The deal, which is subject to approval by New Zealand's Overseas Investment Office, also delivers control of the Waipara Hills cellar door and café.

Accolade Wines’ general manager for Australia and New Zealand, Michael East, says the company saw the brands as a key part of its global portfolio strategy: “The suite of brands, which also includes Dusky Sounds, Haymaker and Skyleaf, covers outstanding wines from key regions – Marlborough for Sauvignon Blanc, Central Otago for Pinot Noir and aromatics from the Waipara Valley including Riesling and Pinot Gris.”

The brands augment Accolade Wines’ existing portfolio of New Zealand brands and offer the opportunity to grow in significant markets such as Europe, North America and Asia.

Paul Schaafsma, general manager, Accoalde Wines UK & Ireland, comments: “The Mud House acquisition significantly strengthens our new Zealand portfolio in the UK and Irish markets, it will give us even stronger leverage and greater flexibility to meet the needs of the buyers in the retail and on-trade sectors, and will round-off our portfolio from the New World.”

Mud House Wine Group chairman Bob Major says: "Accolade’s extensive international sales networks, as well as its experience marketing New World wines, would enable Mud House to grow production and sales much faster and more cost efficiently than we do currently."

Accolade Wines will be retaining the New Zealand team, headed by MJ Loza, who will be reporting to Michael East, and taking on all existing grower contracts under existing terms and conditions.

“New Zealand wine is respected and sought after around the world and we see this as a fantastic opportunity to further increase the sales, marketing and distribution of the Mud House and Waipara Hills brands in particular," adds East.

7 November 2013 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor