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Constellation renamed Accolade Wines as sale finalised

Published:  01 February, 2011

Constellation has completed the sale of its Australian and European business to private equity firm Champ, and will be known as Accolade Wines from July 1.

The AUS $290 million sale, which was announced in December, includes top-selling Australian brands Hardy's, Banrock Station and South Africa's Kumala. Constellation Brands retains a 20% stake in the company.

Accolade Wines also holds a 50% interest in wholesalers Matthew Clark.

Champ managing director John Haddock said: "Champ has a demonstrated track record of achieving sustainable earnings growth in its funds' portfolio companies.

"I think everyone knows there are a number of challenges facing the wine industry but it's an important industry and we will be enthusiastic advocates for it."

"We see Accolade Wines as a company with strong fundamentals, a sound competitive position, a capacity to grow and an opportunity to re-invigorate its brands."

"Accolade Wines will work with Constellation, which retains a 20% holding in the new entity, to distribute and supply each others products globally, " he added.

Accolade chief executive Troy Christensen said: "The management team is looking forward to working with the new owners who are bringing open mindedness, fresh energy and an expansive approach to the business."

Haddock said the new name signalled an intention to "win praise from everyday consumers and from its business partners for the wines and services it provides".