Beer giant Lion buys up Morton Estate

By Holly Ryan

Lion Nathan's new brewery site in East Tamaki, Auckland. Photo / Martin Sykes
Lion Nathan's new brewery site in East Tamaki, Auckland. Photo / Martin Sykes

Lion New Zealand has purchased leading kiwi wine brand Morton Estate and its Stone Creek vineyard in Marlborough for an undisclosed sum.

The move, which has been in the pipeline since last year, was finalised early this week.

Lion New Zealand's Managing Director, Rory Glass, says he believes the acquisition will help expand Morton Estate to its full potential, as well as bolster Lion's wine portfolio, which already includes the likes of Huntaway, Corbans, Wither Hills and Jackman Ridge.

Photo / Babiche Martens.
Photo / Babiche Martens.

"Morton Estate will be a great complement to our existing brands, giving us more flexibility in the way we service customers and consumers by way of range and price. We expect to grow Morton Estate beyond its existing channels in order to fully unlock the potential of the brand," he said.

Lion is fully owned by Japanese brewing giant Kirin so the deal will be subject to Overseas Investment Office approval.

Morton Estate was established in 1978 in Katikati and now has vineyards in Marlborough and the Hawkes Bay, including the Riverview Estate, and Morton House in Auckland.

The company handover which includes the main Morton Estate Stone Creek Vineyard in Marlborough, will begin this week and will be completed by early June.

John Coney, proprietor of The Wine Portfolio which owns Morton Estate, sees the sale as an opportunity for his team to focus on other wine brands as well as allowing the Morton Estate brand to reach its full potential with Lion.

- NZ Herald

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