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Yellow Tail owner Casella completes purchase of Peter Lehmann Wines

Published:  19 December, 2014

Casella Family Brands is planning to ramp up sales of Peter Lehmann Wines both in Australia and overseas now that the acquisition has been completed.

Casella Family Brands is planning to ramp up sales of Peter Lehmann Wines both in Australia and overseas now that the acquisition has been completed.

CasellaYellow Tail formalises purchase of Peter Lehmann WinesCasella Family Brands offered an estimated AU$57 million for the Barossa company, which has been accepted.

Managing director of Yellow Tail brand owner CFB John Casella described the purchase as an "historic milestone" for the Australian wine industry.

The deal, said to be worth AU$57 million, was made public on November 13, but the brand had to wait for due diligence before signing off. Until now Peter Lehmann Wines was owned by major shareholder the Swiss-based Hess Group, which also owns California's Hess Collection, South Africa's Glen Carlou and Amalaya in Argentina among others, along with 10% shareholder and family member Margaret Lehmann.

"This partnership is a perfect fit. CFB has a clear strategy, great global scale, and proven operational excellence. PLW brings a strong presence in both domestic and international markets, valuable grower relationships, an iconic brand, and a strong portfolio. The complementary strengths of the two companies are a winning combination," Casella said.

Casella Family Brands has offered an estimated AU million for the Barossa company, which shareholders are minded to accept.

Casella is looking to "further unlock" Peter Lehmann's potential by "increasing scale in the domestic market and internationally".

Hess familyPeter Lehmann Wines set for wider distribution following the dealThe Hess Family has sold its share in the Barossa brand, which will continue to be distributed in the UK by Liberty Wines.

Margaret Lehmann said: "It's time for PLW to move to the next stage in its evolution. It has had at times a turbulent corporate history, and I am delighted that it is finally in private family ownership. I believe it will continue to flourish because the patient capital of private ownership is better suited to the cyclical nature of the wine industry, which is after all an agricultural industry. I wish John Casella all the best and look forward to seeing the PLW business and the Barossa region prosper under his leadership."

Casella said there would now be a transition period, as with any transaction of this size, but that the major priority for the New Year would be "to deliver a successful 2015 vintage". 

Earlier this month it was confirmed that Accolade Wines was proceeding with the purchase of Barossa's Grant Burge brand and business , along with its Krondorf winery.