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Australian Vintage In Talks On Joint Venture


AUSTRALIAN VINTAGE, formerly known as McGuigan Simeon, says it is in discussions with the drinks company Constellation Brands to pour some of its assets into a joint venture.

The US-based Constellation owns Australia’s second-largest wine business, Hardy.

The two companies have discussed combining their Australian and British wine operations. In exchange, Australian Vintage would receive a substantial interest in the new entity. It described the talks as preliminary.

The company recorded a loss of $123.64 million for 2008-09 after years of restructuring and millions in write-downs and impairment charges.

Constellation has also been under pressure and recently cut 350 jobs from its Australian operations in a restructure that included closing some wineries.

Last month Foster’s announced it would transfer 13 Australian wine brands to a joint venture with Vok Beverages in return for 50 per cent equity in the new entity.

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Saturday, January 20, 7:04 pm

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