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New Zealand's Yealands charged up by investment from electricity firm

Published:  03 July, 2015

A Marlborough wine producer has won NZ$89 million of investment from an electricity supplier in the New Zealand region.

Utility company Marlborough Lines has taken an 80% stake in Yealands Wine Group.

Yealands founder Peter Yealands said: "In looking for an investor we wanted someone who shared our beliefs and who would help us to continue to build the business, both in expanding our fruit supply and in developing our international marketing programme.

"I am delighted to keep the company in local hands and to bring a partner into our business that shares our beliefs and growth aspirations.

"I will maintain my role and shareholding in the business and Jason Judkins [chief executive officer] will also now have a shareholding. Essentially, it will be business as usual.

"I remain fully committed to continuing to produce world class wines sustainably.

"Personally, I am really looking forward to getting out from behind my desk more often so that I can again develop more vineyards to assist the rapid growth of our business, in addition to getting more into market."

Marlborough Lines managing director Ken Forrest added: "Opportunities to invest in the electricity industry are limited and this led to us looking to other options.

"We have received independent advice and carried out a comprehensive review of Yealands' business and have been impressed with its achievements, particularly in light of its relatively short existence, and with its ambitious plans for growth.

"We are satisfied that this will be a successful investment which will broaden our asset base for the benefit of the people of Marlborough.

"We are pleased to be able to demonstrate our confidence in the future of Marlborough's most important industry."