The founder of New Zealand’s Yealands Wine Group insists it will be ‘business as usual’ after selling an 80% stake in the business to a local electricity company.


Peter Yealands said he had been looking for ‘investment options’ for the company since last December, before selling the stake for NZ$89m to Marlborough Lines Limited.

‘I am delighted to keep the company in local hands and to bring a partner into our business that shares our beliefs and growth aspirations,’ he added.

‘I will maintain my role and shareholding in the business and Jason Judkins (CEO) will also now have a shareholding, and essentially it will be business as usual.’

Marlborough Lines MD Ken Forrest said he had been impressed by Yealands’ achievements and growth plans, adding: ‘Opportunities to invest in the electricity industry are limited, and this led to us looking to other options.’

Yealands Wine Group is the country’s sixth biggest wine exporter, shipping more than 1m cases of wine a year to more than 80 countries.

Formed when Yealands Estate acquired Hawke’s Bay winery Crossroads and Marlborough brand The Crossings in 2011, the company owns more than 1,100 hectares of planted vineyards in Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay.

Yealands said the company was performing ‘well ahead of forecasts’, with strong demand from domestic and overseas markets.

He added: ‘Personally, I am really looking forward to getting out from behind my desk more often so that I can again develop more vineyards to assist the rapid growth of our business, in addition to getting more into market.’