Tuesday 19 November 2019

McWilliam’s Wines Group ‘well positioned’ after $15.8 million recapitalisation

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McWilliam’s Wines Group Ltd (MWG) has completed a recapitalisation of the company with its strategic partner, Margaret River Wine Production Pty Ltd (MRWP).

MRWP, together with Australian agricultural fund manager Laguna Bay, has provided MWG with $15.8 million of capital which will be primarily used to fund working capital.

MWG experienced a strong first half trading performance and the company is confident in the group’s long term prospects with a series of initiatives planned to improve and increase profitability.

With the immediate focus to reset the MWG business following completion of the recapitalisation, MRWP has a “long-term investment horizon” and will be working with MWG to develop a strategic plan to rebuild the business.

MWG chief executive David Pitt said: “We have had a strategic relationship with MRWP for a number of years and this transaction takes our partnership to the next level.

“We believe that the expertise and assets within McWilliam’s, MRWP and the broader Fogarty Wine Group (FWG) can deliver a great outcome for all when we are strategically aligned.”

“This is an exciting next chapter in our history and through the completion of this transaction we can continue to build upon the pioneering spirit that flows throughout this family organisation. Wines produced by McWilliam’s continue to be a benchmark of Australian winemaking led by the Mount Pleasant brand.”

Peter Fogarty, chairman of MRWP and FWG said: “We have been working closely with McWilliam’s and looking to jointly expand our working relationship both in Australia and internationally.

“David and I are aligned on strategy and look forward to seeing benefits across our respective businesses. We welcome Laguna Bay as an investor in our group to assist us in driving further growth.”

This transaction is part of a broader investment by Laguna Bay in MRWP and FWG and the parties were supported and assisted by their lead banker Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA).

“MWG’s six-generation history in the Australian wine industry, its strong management team and understanding of the export market, position it well for future growth,” Mr Fogarty said.

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