By Andrew Starke

Champ Private Equity has announced its acquisition of an 80 percent interest in Accolade Wines, formerly known as Constellation Wines Australia and Europe, has been completed.

Australia’s largest wine company by total wine production, Constellation Wines Australia was acquired by Champ in December when it purchased parent company Constellation Wines Australia and Europe (CWAE) for approximately A$290 million in December

Accolade Wines will have a comprehensive portfolio of global brands in its portfolio including in Australia, Hardys, Houghton, Banrock Station, Berri, Stanley and Omni; in South Africa, Kumala and Fish Hoek; and Echo Falls in the USA.

It also holds a 50 percent stake in one of the largest UK alcoholic beverage wholesalers, Matthew Clark.

“Champ is in the business of identifying growth companies for investment by its Funds,” said managing director John Haddock.

“It has a demonstrated track record of achieving sustainable earnings growth in its Funds’ portfolio companies. We are known for supporting the capital requirements of the portfolio businesses and for backing outstanding management.”

“I think everyone knows there are a number of challenges facing the wine industry but it’s an important industry and we will be enthusiastic advocates for it,” he continued.

“We see Accolade Wines as a company with strong fundamentals, a sound competitive position, a capacity to grow and an opportunity to re-invigorate its brands.

“Accolade Wines will work with Constellation Brands, which retains a 20 percent holding in the new entity, to distribute and supply each others products globally.”

The Champ group has offices in Sydney and Brisbane and affiliated offices in Singapore and New York.

“The management team is looking forward to working with the new owners who are bringing open mindedness, fresh energy and an expansive approach to the business,” said Accolade CEO Troy Christensen.

“Management and Champ consider the new name to be consistent with their aspirations for the future of the company.”

Accolade Wines will be sold in over 80 countries including Australia, the UK, Mainland Europe, the US, Canada, Japan and China.

The business is the number one wine company by volume in the UK and Australia.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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