By James Atkinson

Casella Family Brands’ shock acquisition of Peter Lehmann Wines bolsters the Yellowtail founders’ existing portfolio with a more premium offering, John Casella has told TheShout.

The Hess Group Australia and Margaret Lehmann together own 95 per cent of Peter Lehmann Wines and yesterday announced their intention to accept Casella’s offer to buy the company.

John Casella told TheShout the acquisition gives Casella a piece of the premium wine market that would have been very difficult to obtain organically.

“We would have normally had a higher risk and a fairly big outlay,” he said.

“You never know when you’re outlaying that sort of money building brands… there’s always challenges.”

He said PLW is the ideal foil for Casella’s own brands in the domestic market, where both attract very different pricing.

“That’s the important thing, you don’t really want to align yourself with a company that’s got similar products,” he said.

“They’ve really got to complement each other and in this instance they certainly do, price point-wise and region-wise.”

Casella said it will be business as usual for Peter Lehmann for the foreseeable future, with a “softly softly” approach to any portfolio changes.

“We need to see whether there’s any tension or any competition within the portfolios,” he said.

“Obviously going forward you don’t want a complex portfolio, you want to be as lean and clean as possible. We’ll assess that and if there is we’ll tidy it up in time.”

The Shout Team

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

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