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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Jack Hibberd

Western Australian winery Palandri is to float on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) later this month in an attempt to raise around 3 million of growth capital'. According to Palandri's UK manger Andrew Blythe, the London Stock Exchange's AIM - which caters specifically for smaller, growing companies - represents a better opportunity to gain access to fresh capital than the Australian financial market. The sentiment about wineries in the Australian market is not that positive at the moment,' said Blythe, and the problems that Southcorp and others have had hasn't helped.' Established in 1988 with A$110 million of investment capital, Palandri will be the first winery to float on the AIM, although wine retailer Majestic is listed on the market (and has previously won AIM Company of the Year). The float is expected to value Palandri at 22 million. The company currently sells around 150,000 cases of wine - with production set to increase to 350,000 cases in the next two years. It made a profit of 1.4 million on sales of 15.8 million in 2003. Although a UK office opened in 2000, Palandri failed to make an impact at the major multiples, with the majority of the volume going through Somerfield, the Co-op and independent wholesalers. A new agency deal with Ehrmann's was signed recently.