Australia's Evans & Tate and Cranswick Premium Wines are due to join forces next month in a transfer of cash and shares worth AU$45m (€24.6m).
Graham Cranswick-Smith, CEO of New South Wales-based Cranswick, said the synergies between the two companies made the deal compelling.
‘Evans & Tate has been superbly successful in the Australian market, while my company has a good export profile. In addition, this is a period of consolidation within the wine industry and it seemed appropriate to put together two companies with complementary regionality and price points,’ he told decanter.com at yesterday’s Australia Day tastings in London.
While Cranswick’s vineyards lie mainly in NSW and inland Victoria, those of Evans & Tate are based in Margaret River and Victoria’s Yarra Valley. In addition, while E&T is best known for its premium and super-premium wines, Cranswick’s strengths lie in the high-volume market.
‘Both boards of directors are fully supportive of the move,’ said Cranswick-Smith, explaining that while E&T gains access to international distribution, his company gains credibility. ‘When you found a company based exclusively on inland areas, it’s difficult to be perceived as a premium winemaker.’
According to Evans & Tate chief Franklin Tate, the two ranges will merge within five years to become one.
Discussions between the two companies started in June 2002 and the completion of a process that both Tate and Cranswick-Smith describe as ‘a merger’ is due to take place on 10 March 2003.
Written by Natasha Hughes7 February 2003