Leading Australian wine brands including Penfolds, Rosemount and Lindemans could soon be under Chinese ownership, according to media reports.
Penfolds Kalimna Vineyard, Barossa: up for grabs?
Bloomberg said Bright Food Group – a Shanghai-based food and dairy business – was in private talks about acquiring Treasury Wine Estates, the Foster’s company which owns Penfolds, Beringer, Wolf Blass, Rosemount and other iconic brands
It was quoting ‘people familiar with the situation’, it said.
The reports sent Treasury’s share price soaring 8.9% to AUS$3.67 – the highest gain since trading began on 11 May – and giving the company a notional market value of AUS$2.4bn.
Responding to an Australian Stock Exchange query about the share price rise, Treasury said it was unaware of any reason for the increase, but noted the Bloomberg report linking it with Bright Food.
Bright Food is the leading food and dairy producer in Shanghai and has ambitions to become a leading global player in the food and beverage industry.
It recently failed in a bid to acquire 50% of French yoghurt company Yoplait, but is believed to have been looking seriously at an Australian wine acquisition.
Treasury was separated from the Foster’s brewing business in May this year.
Foster’s rejected a AUS$2.7bn bid for the wine business last September, believed to be from private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, saying that it ‘significantly undervalued’ the company.
Written by Richard Woodard