Foley plans NZX main board move

Martinborough Vineyard. Photo / Carla Burns Palliser, WTA
Martinborough Vineyard. Photo / Carla Burns Palliser, WTA

Foley Family Wines, which is majority owned by American businessman and vineyard owner Bill Foley, plans to step up to the main board of the New Zealand stock exchange following its takeover of Martinborough Vineyards and the sale of $10 million of shares to institutional investors.

The company, which has two wineries in Marlborough and two in Martinborough, as well as links to wine distributor Eurovintage, restaurateur Nourish Group and luxury lodge Wharekauhau though Foley's private company, has a market capitalisation of about $63 million on the stock exchange's AX market for smaller companies. Its takeover offer for Martinborough Vineyards has just been declared unconditional, it said in a statement to the exchange today.

Bill Foley.
Bill Foley.

"With Foley Family Wines' increased capital and shareholder base, it now intends to pursue a move from the NZAX to the NZX Main Board in the short to medium term," the Marlborough-based company said in a statement. The timing is yet to be determined, it said.

The wine company, which owns the Te Kairanga, Vavasour, Grove Mill, Sanctuary, Goldwater and Dashwood wine brands as well as Lighthouse Gin, sold 7,092,199 shares through an overnight bookbuild to institutional investors at $1.41 apiece, the company said today. The stock rose 3.5 percent to $1.50.

The funds raised will be used to repay $5 million of debt linked to the Martinborough Vineyard acquisition, the company said in presentation notes provided to the exchange.

Of the remaining funds, $2 million will go towards investment in Grove Mill bottling warehouse facilities, $1 million for a new barrel room and winery upgrade at Te Kairanga and $2 million set aside for further investment opportunities, the company said.

Foley Family Wines said its 2014 vintage increased 19.4 percent to 6,807 tonnes from the year earlier, with a high quality harvest as it beat the rain.

- BusinessDesk

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