In the latest twist to a busy week in the UK wine world, Champ private equity and Constellation have announced the sale of Hardys owner Accolade Wines to the Carlyle Group in a deal worth one billion Australian dollars.
Australia-based Champ private equity said today (5 April) that Carlyle Group has purchased 100% of Accolade Wine, which includes the Hardys and Banrock Station Australian wine brands and has been a major player in the UK for many years.
The deal was worth a total A$1 billion, Champ said. Accolade is the biggest wine producer in Australia.
Its strong heritage in the UK means that it has been a busy week in the British wine trade, following the break-up of Conviviality and news that Brown Brothers would pull its brand out of the country’s sales network.
Accolade is the former Europe and Australia wines division of Constellation and Champ has owned 80% of the business since the beginning of 2011, when Constellation decided to focus on its North America business.
Constellation retained 20% of the business that became Accolade and has now sold up, alongside Champ, to Carlyle Group.
Champ originally paid around A$290 million for its 80% stake.
John Haddock, Champ CEO, said, ‘Accolade represents the best of private equity ownership: taking the time to develop a business, investing in multiple areas of the business and orientating the company towards a growth opportunity that has many years ahead of it.’
He said that the firm was proud to have ‘rejuvenated’ the Hardys brand and the private equity group added that Accolade exported around A$350m of Australian wine annually.