Marlborough wine company Indevin has reached a conditional agreement to buy Villa Maria Estate Limited from its parent company FFWL.
FFWL was placed into receivership in May by its bankers Rabobank and ANZ, who are owed nearly $212 million.
Brendon Gibson and Neale of Calibre Partners - the receivers - said today they had signed a conditional agreement to sell all the shares in Villa Maria Estate after a nine month sale process by Calibre and UBS. No sale price has been disclosed.
Indevin chairman Greg Tomlinson said adding Villa Maria to its portfolio would fit within its long-term growth strategy and complement its existing business.
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"Our whole business is built around holding and building value for New Zealand vineyards and growers. If the conditions of the sale are satisfied, we plan to drive focus and increased investment behind Villa Maria to further enhance its reputation for quality and protect its brand value. This will be an important next step in the story of the brand."
If the sale goes ahead it will include Villa Maria's Marlborough, Hawke's Bay and Auckland wineries, vineyards, supplier agreements, its flagship brand Villa Maria as well as Esk Valley, Vidal and Leftfield.
Malcolm McDougall, chairman of the Villa Maria board, said there was genuine compatibility between the two businesses.
"Indevin is a successful operator, it brings a strong supply chain and has established key export markets with contracted long-term partnerships. Meanwhile, Villa Maria brings a legacy and strong brands that command a premium. Together that's a powerful combination."
Gibson said it was working closely with the management of Villa Maria and Indevin to satisfy the sale conditions with a view to settlement by the end of August.
"We see this is a good outcome that provides certainty for the business, staff, customers, suppliers and the communities in which Villa Maria operates."
FFWL has also entered into a conditional contract to sell 34ha of light industrial land surrounding Villa Maria's Auckland winery to Goodman Property Trust in a deal expected to settle later in 2021.