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Accolade Wine borrows US$300 million to drive global growth

Published:  10 June, 2014

GE Capital International has provided Accolade Wines with a US$300 million cross-border credit facility in order for the world's fifth largest wine producer to continue to grow its brands globally.

"GE understands the wine industry, which is an important aspect of our ongoing relationship. GE Capital's ability to provide global financing will help us continue to grow our business," said John Ratcliffe, chief executive at Accolade Wines, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The credit facility will allow for Accolade to access to capital across all regions of its business, including the US, New Zealand, Australia and the UK. 

The initial loan was secured back in March and will be used to recapitalise its balance sheet to help fund global growth. This is the second time that Accolade Wines has used GE Capital, initially securing a US$220 million financing facility back in 2011.

According to the financial press back in March when the initial loan was secured, Ratcliffe said: ''GE's global platform is important to the implementation of our strategy of being a full-service new world wine proposition globally across the three core price segments of value, mid-market and premium.''

Accolade Wines owns some of the UK's biggest brands including  Hardys, Echo Falls, and Banrock Station. It is the largest seller of wines by volume in the UK and Australia.

The group is investing heavily in UK marketing this year, including a sponsorship of the England Cricket Team by Hardys, which will see it appear up to 5,000 times on SkySports throughout upcoming matches. It has also launched a direct to consumer online wine store in recent weeks, called the 1853 Club, which is dedicated to the sale of its more premium wines.It also recently ramped up activity from its Californian brand Echo Falls, which has just launched three new fruit fusion variants in an effort to recruit new consumers and target its existing 18-34 female customer base.