By Andy Young

McWilliam's Wines has sought to clarify its role as part of the group which is planning to buy The Wine Society.

As reported by TheShout last month a consortium called Australian Wine Finance, which is led by the Fogarty Wine Group is looking to purchase The Wine Society. McWilliam’s has a small shareholding in that group and managing director Jeff McWilliam has said that the company is not planning any retail arm as part of The Wine Society deal and that the shareholding is only part of the its WA wine production arrangements.

In a meeting last week between McWilliam and ALSA President Giuseppe Minissale and CEO Terry Mott, McWilliam responded to concerns raised by ALSA members regarding what retail role McWilliams would undertake if The Wine Society deal goes ahead.

Following the meeting McWilliam wrote to ALSA to reaffirm that the company has no plans to move into retailing.

He wrote: "McWilliam's Wines has no direct business interest in relation to the proposed acquisition of The Wine Society. Our minority investment in Margaret River Wine Production solely relates to the winemaking operations in WA supporting our Evans & Tate brand."

Mott said that ALSA appreciates McWilliam's clarifying the situation for its members. TheShout has contacted McWilliam’s for further comment on this.

Soon after this story, TheShout spoke to Jeff McWilliam, who said: "We are winemakers not retailers."

The Shout Team

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

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