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Australian assets for sale reach $800m

The historic Baileys of Glenrowan formally goes on the market next week as the value of winery assets on sale in Australia reaches about AUS$800m.

Foster’s Group is selling the 139-year-old Baileys, in the Rutherglen region of northern Victoria, following the company’s asset review completed in February.

The review earmarked 31 vineyards for sale in Australia and five in California, valued at AUS$243m.

The original Rosemount site in the upper Hunter Valley, which failed to sell three years ago, is included in the sale.

CEO Ian Johnston said, when he announced the sale several weeks ago, that Baileys was for sale because it was a small part of a global portfolio and Foster’s ‘acknowledged we are probably not the right long term owner.’

Noted for its premium red wines and outstanding and liqueur muscats and tokays, Baileys will follow in the path of 157-year-old Seppeltsfield, also renowned for its fortified wines, which Foster’s sold two years ago.

The value of industry assets publicly on the market in Australia is now estimated by companies and agents at more than AUS$500m with Constellation Wines still having 17 vineyards and two wineries – Leasingham and Stonehaven – on the market after announcing their sale last August and several other big and small premium wineries are for sale.

Agents estimate another AUS$300m worth of Australian assets is for sale privately.

Leading industry valuer and agent, Colin Gaetjens, of Gaetjens Langley, in Adelaide, said today there would be more on the market if vendors, batting tough times, thought the market would pay the prices they want.

‘There’s a big cloud hanging over the wine industry at the moment and it can’t decide where to drop the bucket,’ he said.

  • Two US buyers are believed to be negotiating for Australian Vintage’s 90,000-tonne winery at Loxton in South Australia’s Riverland. Australian Vintage following the failure of India’s Indage Holdings to settle by the April 30 deadline a AUS$60m sale.

    Also being advertised is the former Mildara and Jamieson’s Run winery at Coonawarra, now known as The Poplars following its AUS$9m sale three years ago by Foster’s to a local company, Coonawarra Developments.

    Written by Chris Snow in Adelaide

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