By Andrew Starke

Australian Vintage (AVL) and Constellation Brands (CBI) have lodged a submission with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for an informal merger clearance.

Merger discussions between the two wine companies have been ongoing with both Constellation Brands president and CEO, Rob Sands, and Australian Vintage Limited Chairman, Ian Ferrier, commenting on proceedings last month (November).

Both companies gave notice to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) this afternoon (Dec 14) that the new wine joint venture would be equally owned by Constellation Brands and Australian Vintage shareholders.

“The submission (to the ACCC) has been made in advance of any binding agreement being reached between CBI and AVL in order to provide the ACCC with sufficient time to consider all competition issues,” said a statement on the ASX.

In an announcement made to the New York Stock Exchange last month, Sands claimed the company is “pursuing a number of opportunities with various parties to improve the prospects of its Australian and U.K. businesses”.

Ferrier confirmed merger discussions with global wine giant Constellation were ongoing.

“Discussions with Constellation regarding a possible combining of part of their Australian and UK operations with AVL continue,” he said.

The Shout Team

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

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