Margaret River wine giant Evans & Tate yesterday announced it will join forces with Australian company Cranswick Premium Wines.

The joint venture, which will retain the Evans and Tate name, will bolster the company’s position in Margaret River, giving the Western Australia winemaker a huge lift in sales from 300,000 cases per year to over 2.4 million.

Cranswick, based in New South Wales, will add lower-priced, high volume wine to Evans & Tate’s existing revenue stream, as well as providing extensive distribution channels to the UK and US.

The deal will be worth around A$150m (€89m). Evans & Tate is

offering Cranswick shareholders four of its shares plus A$2.60 (€1.54) in cash for every seven shares they hold.

Evans & Tate CEO Franklin Tate claims the concept is simple. ‘We’re really good at selling premium bottled wine in Australia and they’re really good at selling wines overseas.’

Cranswick’s leading brand in the UK, Barramundi, is an

example of a successful, low-priced wine that Tate is keen to pursue. ‘This will open up new market categories for Evans & Tate in the sub-ten-dollar area,’ he said.

Shareholders will vote on the merger in October. Tate

did not rule out further acquisitions in the future.

Written by Tom Chippendale in Western Australia 17 June 2002