New Zealand producer Delegats is asking the public to invest in order to raise money to fund further expansion.

The 50-year-old family-owned company – now the fourth largest wine company in New Zealand – is making a NZ$35m capital notes offering. Capital notes are a simple way of investing in a company at a fixed rate of interest. They can later be sold on the stock exchange.

Valued at NZ$1.00 each, notes offer an interest rate of 9.75% and mature in 2007. The offer runs from 28 June to 23 July.

Plans to raise further substantial capital – estimated to be in excess of NZ$40m – will be put into effect during the latter half of 2005.

A NZ$70m winery in Marlborough, operational by 2006, is planned, as well as another NZ$22m winery in Hawkes Bay, where Delegats owns the single largest vineyard – the 285ha Crownthorpe vineyard.

The company is said to be keen to push its Oyster Bay label into the global super premium league, and to target the lucrative U.S. market.

Managing director Jim Delegat said the planned expansion coincided with the forecast that New Zealand’s grape harvest would triple in the next three years.

He also said he did not expect to relinquish control of the business founded by his parents in 1947.

NB NZ$1.00 = €0.5

Written by Tracey Barker