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Foster’s mulls over wine divison sale

Foster's Group is still mulling over plans to sell or spin off its wine business after rebuffing a A$2.5bn offer from an unnamed private equity group.

The Australian liquor giant, which renamed its wine business Treasury Wine Estates in July, backs the idea of splitting its beer and wine operations, but said no firm decision would be made until next year.

A private equity group, widely reported to be Cerberus Capital, offered A$2.5bn for the wine division in September, but Foster’s dismissed the bid as ‘totally inadequate’.

Chairman David Crawford told the company’s AGM on Tuesday (26 October) that no further talks had been held with the bidder, but Foster’s remained open to further offers for Treasury, which it values at about A$3bn.

Foster’s is the world’s second biggest wine producer, with brands including Penfolds, Lindemans, Rosemount, Wolf Blass and Beringer.

Any decision to divide Foster’s wine and beer interests into separate companies would require the backing of shareholders, with the process likely to be complete by the middle of next year.

Written by Richard Woodard

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