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New Crushpad owner aims to ‘rebuild trust’

The new owners of the assets of beleaguered custom winemaking company Crushpad are on the hunt for new facilities as they try to rebuild trust in the troubled business.

Using two newly created companies, Structural Solutions and Aspect 2, private equity business Castlegate Capital Advisors bought Crushpad’s assets at public auction for just over US$650,000 – the same amount as the company debt previously acquired by Castlegate.

But clients of the custom winemaking business are still not sure what will happen to wine they have in barrel or bottle with Crushpad, when they will be able to secure their wine and how much it will cost to do so.

In an email to members sent following the sale, Crushpad vice president Steve Ryan – previously the company’s operations director – said the business faced ‘a very complicated situation involving multiple legal entities’, as well as numerous creditors and ‘justifiably upset’ customers.

He said the first task was to settle monies owed to Groskopf, the warehousing business storing the wines, so that normal operations could be resumed.

The new company would like to finish and bottle members’ maturing wine, Ryan added, but there would be ‘a cost’ for this, and the business’s pricing model would have to change to make it sustainable and able to offer the same services.

‘We are building a new company focused on renewing the concept of making great wine for those without a winery of their own, or wishing to build a brand commercially,’ Ryan wrote.

‘To do this, we will leverage the lessons learned by our predecessors. Today we face a number of challenges in resurrecting the company and rebuilding your trust.’

Written by Richard Woodard

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