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Merger creates major privately-owned Kiwi wine company

Published:  30 August, 2011

A merger has been announced between New Zealand's leading sustainable wine producer, Yealands Estate, and Kiwi wine investment company, Ager Sectus.

Whilst the Yealands Estate and Ager Sectus brands will retain their individual identities and existing distribution networks, the deal creates one of the largest privately-owned wine companies in New Zealand with a global reach of more than 50 international markets.

The merged company, which will own in excess of 1,500 hectares of vineyards, will produce high quality wine from across New Zealand's major wine regions, thus providing "a more diverse and compelling offering," according to Peter Yealands, owner and chairman of Yealands Estate.

"We believe that consolidation is the way of the future. To succeed in current market conditions you need a quality-focused, efficient production model and strong distribution networks," he said.

"The merger will put us in a stronger position to take advantage of global distribution opportunities. The scope and scale of the new entity will allow us to invest in additional in-market staff who will work alongside our existing distribution networks. Peter Cutfield and I hold common philosophies on how this will be achieved."

Peter Cutfield, founder of Ager Sectus, added: "In an increasingly challenging marketplace it makes sense to combine our resources to invest in the development of strong brands. We both have expertise and market experience in complementary areas, which will enable the new entity to start from a position of strength."

The combined portfolio will continue to be represented by three distributors in the UK market - The Crossings, Crossroads Winery and Southbank Estate brands by Mentzendorff; Yealands Estate by Liberty Wines; and 3 Stones by Haywood Bros.

Yealands Estate is based in Marlborough's Awatere Valley. The privately-owned winery received carboNZero CertTM certification in April 2009 and became the largest winery in New Zealand to achieve this status for its organisation and wine products. The winery and vineyard is also accredited under Sustainable Winegrowers of New Zealand.

Ager Sectus Wine Estates has vineyards and wineries in Marlborough and Hawkes Bay. It is an accredited member of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand and all vineyards are operated in accordance with the scheme's guidelines.