By Charlotte Cowan, Editor The Shout New Zealand
Villa Maria Estate is selling 31 hectares of surplus land surrounding its Mangere, Auckland headquarters as the winemaker explores raising capital to accelerate its global growth strategy and ambitions.
Villa Maria says its vision is to be one of the world’s great wine companies and, as part of its global growth strategy, plans to invest across the value chain from viticulture and wineries to brands and marketing to meet increasing demands in key markets.
The sale of the surplus Mangere land will help to accelerate these plans.
“We’ve been making changes to our business consistent with our vision to be one of the world’s great wine companies and carry on the legacy of our founder, Sir George Fistonich,” said Justin Liddell, Chief Executive Officer of Villa Maria Estate.
“We’ve restructured and refreshed our business, optimised and refined our brand and marketing portfolios and redefined our hospitality offering to enhance our consumer experience.
“We have laid the foundations for our future success and this is the next phase in our growth strategy.”
Liddell says the Villa Maria site in Mangere has a special place in the history of Villa Maria but the land value has increased to a point where it’s not possible to generate a reasonable return on the vineyards.
“We’re exploring selling 31 hectares of vineyard and bare land surrounding our headquarters at Mangere,” he says.
“We will continue to operate our Auckland winery, bottling, warehousing, head office and hospitality functions on the remaining 10 hectares.
“We’re also exploring raising capital from interested parties who want to support our growth plans.
“It’s early days and we don’t want to speculate on who a new investor might be or the nature or extent of the investment. We will work through the options and go from there.
“We don’t expect any decisions to be made until the first quarter of next year and our day-to-day activities will go on as usual,” Liddell said.